Man City Go Four Points Clear Of Liverpool
English Premier League
Result: Manchester City 3-1 Watford
Date: 9 March 2019
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premiership standings with a 3-1 victory over Watford at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
City move four points ahead of Liverpool, who play Burnley on Sunday.
The Hornets put up a good fight in the first half, but their resistance crumbled after the break.
Right from the off, City dominated possession. Watford seemed content to get every player back behind the ball, setting themselves up to hit their opponents on the counter through the likes of Isaac Success and Andre Gray.
In the ninth minute, Riyad Mahrez swung a cross in towards David Silva. The midfielder beat Ben Foster to the ball but could not guide it on target.
Watford were doing well to stifle the champions with the next best chance of the match coming only on the half-hour mark. Bernardo Silva whipped the ball in from the right and Sergio Aguero was perfectly positioned, unmarked seven yards out but the Argentina striker guided his header wide of the post.
Moments afterwards, Darryl Janmaat produced a superb goal-saving tackle on Raheem Sterling, when the England winger looked set to score. On the stroke of half-time, Foster pulled off a good save to deny Aguero.
City had all of the possession, territory and shots on target while Watford failed to register a single shot on target and registered just six passes in the final third of the field, but still the sides went in to the interval locked at 0-0.
A minute after the break, Aguero chested Ikay Gundogan's delightful pass into the path of Sterling and the winger lifted it over Foster for the opening goal. The goal was initially ruled out for offside by the linesman but the decision was overturned by referee Paul Tierney; a controversial moment to say the least.
Watford appeared to crumble on the back of that questionable decision from the officials. The ball fell nicely for David Silva, who played it into the path of Mahrez and the Algeria international squared it for Sterling to tap into an empty net for his second.
By the 60th minute, the game was well and truly put to bed as Sterling grabbed a quickfire hat-trick. David Silva played the ball inside Janmaat and Sterling kept his composure in front of goal, taking the ball inside Kabasele and lifting it over Foster with a delicate little chip.
The introduction of Troy Deeney and Gerard Delofeu immediately paid dividents for the visitors as the pair combined within thirty seconds of coming on for Delofeu to pull one back in the 66th minute.
Delofeu continued to cause plenty of problems for the Citizens' defence but was unable to add to his tally nor give his side more than a glimmer of hope as Javi Gracia's side suffered their 11th loss of the season.