Manchester City carried out a routine 4-0 win over Watford at Vicarage Road tonight, in a game that may have huge consequences on the Hornets' survival chances.
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring brilliantly with a thunderbolt into the top-left corner, then doubled the lead with a rebounded penalty following Ben Foster's brilliant save. Foster spared Watford's blushes a few times throughout the game, but Aymeric Laporte's header and Phil Foden's tap-in stretched City's lead to a fairly embarrassing 4-0. City dominated the game throughout and almost managed a fifth, with Gabriel Jesus heading home but being denied for offside.
Here's how we rated the players following a routine victory...
Ederson – 7
Shut down an attempt from Danny Welbeck to pull one back for Watford, but probably bored senseless for the rest of the game, the poor lad. Maybe some of our £300 billion transfer budget could go on giving him a Nintendo Switch or something, it would keep him occupied.
João Cancelo – 8.5
Definitely his best game in a City shirt, looking fantastic early on in particular. I doubt I’m alone in preferring him on the left over both Mendy and Zinchenko. He also carried out some brilliant play with Jesus and beat Mariappa at right-back plenty of times. Brilliant defensively and in attack, but his final ball did let him down a few times. Was terribly unlucky not to record an assist for Jesus’ 94th-minute header, but the Brazilian was flagged offside. Shocker.
Eric Garcia – 7.5
Quietly very good. Displayed some great feints and intelligence to craft some neat buildup play with Laporte and Rodri. He really never looks out of place in this City team, which is a huge compliment to the youngster.
Aymeric Laporte – 7.5
Empowered performance, as usual. His headed goal was fantastically taken and did Kevin De Bruyne a big favour, of course.
Kyle Walker – 7
Less active than Cancelo on the other side, but played very well nonetheless. I have plenty of faith that his ball into Sterling for his magnificent opener was entirely intended.
Rodri – 9
Quietly brilliant, and probably rightly awarded man of the match by Sky. He played a massive role in our domination throughout the game, with some intelligent working of the ball. Many noted the telling stat that he completed more passes than Watford’s entire team in the first half – 65 to 55.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7.5
Not quite up to his usual outstanding level, but that says much more about his team-mates as well as his relatively deep-lying position in the game. He clearly had the assist record in his mind and might have forced things a little at times, but he has every right to do so, considering his performances throughout the season and the fact that City are effectively playing for nothing at the moment.
Phil Foden – 7.5
The directness and urgency he always brings were present again, especially as he won the ball and played in Sterling before he won his penalty. Did well to notch another goal after Sterling was denied by the brilliant Foster for the third goal.
Bernardo Silva – 6
Unfortunately, I barely noticed his influence. He’s very much out of form, but he has so much more to show.
Raheem Sterling – 9
He produced a truly stunning, Aguero-esque finish for the first goal, proving himself to be an exceptional finisher, especially when he doesn’t have any time to think about it too much. His penalty was won very well, and despite a brilliant stop from Foster, he did well to knock in the rebound. He was also very unlucky not to secure a hat-trick with his squandered chance that led to Foden’s tap-in.
Gabriel Jesus – 7
Quite absent from the game at times, but occasionally helped out to create some fantastic moves with Foden, Sterling, and even Cancelo at one point. Grabbed his obligatory offside goal, which is always comforting to see.
Oleksandr Zinchenko - 7
Got into some great positions and could have managed an assist if he showed a little more tenacity.
John Stones - 6
He didn't do a whole lot, but that's probably a good thing.
Riyad Mahrez - 6
Didn't have a huge impact. Hard to do so when the game is already won and the opposition's only interest is protecting their goal difference.
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