Our 3️⃣ points after Man City move one step closer to the title

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Dan Burke

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Manchester City now need just 14 more points to mathematically guarantee the 2020/21 Premier League title after a comfortable win at Fulham on Saturday.

Fulham 0
Manchester City 3
Full time

Here are three things we learned at Craven Cottage …

Galaxy brain Guardiola

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Their healthy lead at the top of the table means City have plenty of wiggle room for experimentation in the closing weeks of the season, and Pep Guardiola needs no excuse to do something a bit mad.

His decision to line-up his team in a 5-3-2 formation raised a few eyebrows pre-match, and City’s disjointed first half performance made you wonder why Guardiola had tinkered with a team that had won 22 of their previous 23 matches.

And though it all worked out in the end, we suspect Guardiola won’t have seen enough to convince him that this system is worth trying again anytime soon, nor should he be convinced that Benjamin Mendy has a long-term future at the club.

That said, even a squad as deep as City’s isn’t immune to fatigue during this most demanding of seasons, and with big games coming up in the Champions League and FA Cup, a bit of rotation was the smart approach.

Manager of the season?

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It felt like Fulham were doomed to relegation before this season had even begun and when they lost nine of their first 12 matches, it was looking like they were in danger of taking Derby County’s mantle of the worst Premier League team ever.

But with nine games left, the Cottagers have a fighting chance of staying up, and great credit is due to manager Scott Parker for turning his side’s fortunes around.

They got nothing from this game but they gave a good account of themselves and might have scored in the first half had they been a bit sharper in the box.

On this evidence they are definitely much better than Sheffield United and West Brom, and possibly better than Brighton and Newcastle.

But Parker will be well aware that every game between now and the end of the season should be treated like a cup final if they’re to pull off the great escape.

End of an Agü-era?

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Sergio Agüero captained City, played the full 90 minutes and scored his first Premier League goal for 14 months from the penalty spot.

But it still feels like we are witnessing the beginning of the end of his glorious City career.

The Argentine has clearly lost a bit of the explosiveness that made him one of the world’s most fearsome strikers and at 32-years-old, you wonder whether he’ll ever truly be the player he was.

There won’t be a dry eye in the house when Agüero finally does say adiós to the Etihad. He has been one of the greatest, most iconic players ever to pull on the sky blue shirt, and the majority of City fans are hoping he will get one more contract extension, for old time’s sake.

But City are a club which must always keep moving forward and if they were to sign someone like Erling Haaland this summer, could they justify keeping a half-fit Agüero around on big wages for sentimental reasons?

Something will have to give, and it seems like Kun’s best chance of playing club football with his good mate Lionel Messi will be at Barcelona.

And besides, when City have got defenders like John Stones regularly chipping in with goals, who needs strikers anyway?