Ghana's No. 1

Man City beat Watford to move top

Published on: 04 December 2021

Raheem Sterling has scored 11 goals in his professional club career against Watford

Reigning champions Manchester City moved top of the Premier League for the first time this season with a dominant win over struggling Watford.

Raheem Sterling headed City ahead after only four minutes, when free at the back post to meet Phil Foden's excellent cross from the left.

The hosts were repeatedly ripped apart by City's movement, passing and creativity and only a number of saves from goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann kept the score down to one goal in the first 30 minutes.

But City got a well-deserved second as Bachmann denied Ilkay Gundogan, but the rebound fell to Bernardo Silva, who showed excellent skill to beat two defenders and finish well from a tight angle.

Silva then grabbed his second and City's third, cutting in from the right side of the penalty area and curling a fine finish past Bachmann.

Cucho Hernandez pulled one back for Watford, following in to convert a rebound after his first strike had hit the foot of the post.

After 15 matches, City - title winners in five of the past 10 seasons - are a point ahead of Liverpool.

Chelsea began the day as leaders, but are now a point behind the Reds in third place, after losing 3-2 to fourth-placed West Ham.

    Watford v Manchester City as it happened, plus reaction and analysisGo straight to all the best Watford contentVisit our City page

Six points from eight games under Ranieri

For Watford, this was a sixth defeat in eight matches under Claudio Ranieri, albeit from an incredibly tough run, including encounters against five of the current top seven.

They performed excellently to win 5-2 at Everton and 4-1 against Manchester United in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's last match in charge of the Red Devils, but have only picked up six points since Ranieri replaced the sacked Xisco Munoz in October.

Ranieri received a hero's reception at Leicester last Sunday in a return to the King Power Stadium where he had led the Foxes to the Premier League title in 2015-16.

But, just as in that match where they lost 4-2, the Hornets' defensive problems were on display and only fine goalkeeping from Bachmann denied City a hatful of first-half goals.

Goalscorer Sterling also had another effort saved, Jack Grealish - back in the starting line-up for the first time in a month after injury - was denied three times and Joao Cancelo fired wide as Watford were outclassed.

After Silva doubled the visitors' lead in the 31st minute it became a question of how many City would score.

Sterling is now on 99 Premier League goals and had a chance to reach his century, but had an effort palmed away by Bachmann, who also fingertipped a Foden drive onto the post.

The chances kept coming for City with Gundogan shooting over, before Silva's second goal - and seventh of the season - came in the 63rd minute.

Grealish also had a strike deflected onto the crossbar, Bachmann saved from Aymeric Laporte, before substitute Hernandez claimed Watford's consolation in the 74th minute.

Player of the match

Bernardo SilvaBernardo Silva

with an average of 8.83

    WatfordWatfordWatfordMan CityManchester CityManchester City

WatfordAvgSquad number26Player nameBachmannAverage rating


Squad number8Player nameCleverleyAverage rating


Squad number29Player nameCucho HernándezAverage rating


Squad number25Player nameDennisAverage rating


Squad number19Player nameSissokoAverage rating


Squad number21Player nameKiko FemeníaAverage rating


Squad number10Player nameJoão PedroAverage rating


Squad number5Player nameTroost-EkongAverage rating


Squad number33Player nameKuckaAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameKingAverage rating


Squad number6Player nameLouzaAverage rating


Squad number15Player nameCathcartAverage rating


Squad number2Player nameNgakiaAverage rating


Squad number3Player nameRoseAverage rating


Manchester CityAvgSquad number20Player nameBernardo SilvaAverage rating


Squad number10Player nameGrealishAverage rating


Squad number47Player nameFodenAverage rating


Squad number27Player nameJoão CanceloAverage rating


Squad number8Player nameGündoganAverage rating


Squad number3Player nameRúben DiasAverage rating


Squad number2Player nameWalkerAverage rating


Squad number16Player nameRodriAverage rating


Squad number31Player nameEdersonAverage rating


Squad number14Player nameLaporteAverage rating


Squad number9Player nameGabriel JesusAverage rating


Squad number17Player nameDe BruyneAverage rating


Squad number26Player nameMahrezAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameSterlingAverage rating


    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text


Formation 4-1-4-1

26Bachmann21Femenía5Troost-Ekong15Cathcart3Rose6Louza25Dennis8Cleverley19Sissoko10João Pedro7King

    26Bachmann21Femenía5Troost-Ekong15CathcartBooked at 85mins3RoseBooked at 31minsSubstituted forNgakiaat 71'minutes6LouzaSubstituted forHernándezat 45'minutes25Dennis8CleverleySubstituted forKuckaat 45'minutes19Sissoko10João Pedro7KingBooked at 7mins



Man City

Formation 4-3-3

31Ederson2Walker3Rúben Dias14Laporte27Cancelo8Gündogan16Rodri20Bernardo Silva7Sterling10Grealish47Foden

    31Ederson2Walker3Rúben Dias14Laporte27Cancelo8GündoganSubstituted forDe Bruyneat 67'minutes16Rodri20Bernardo Silva7Sterling10GrealishSubstituted forMahrezat 68'minutes47FodenSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 75'minutes


    5Stones6Aké9Gabriel Jesus11Zinchenko13Steffen17De Bruyne25Fernandinho26Mahrez33Carson

Referee:Simon HooperAttendance:20,673Match StatsHome TeamWatfordAway TeamMan CityPossessionHome23%Away77%ShotsHome11Away26Shots on TargetHome4Away13CornersHome5Away11FoulsHome10Away7Live TextPost update

Match ends, Watford 1, Manchester City 3.

90'+5'Full Time

Second Half ends, Watford 1, Manchester City 3.

90'+4'Post update

Attempt missed. Jeremy Ngakia (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Cucho Hernández with a cross following a corner.

90'+4'Post update

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Rúben Dias.

90'+3'Post update

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Kevin De Bruyne.

90'+3'Post update

Attempt saved. João Cancelo (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

90'+1'Post update

Foul by Bernardo Silva (Manchester City).

90'+1'Post update

Cucho Hernández (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

89'Post update

Attempt missed. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.


Craig Cathcart (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

85'Post update

Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85'Post update

Foul by Craig Cathcart (Watford).

82'Post update

Attempt blocked. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus.

82'Post update

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by William Troost-Ekong.

81'Post update

Attempt blocked. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

80'Post update

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

80'Post update

Kiko Femenía (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79'Post update

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

78'Post update

Attempt missed. Joshua King (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Cucho Hernández with a cross.

76'Post update

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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