Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Saturday January 25 2014
Beppe Sannino admitted that the class of Manchester City negated the tactical changes he made as Watford saw their two-goal lead evaporate at the Etihad Stadium.
Watford found themselves ahead - in line with the run of play - when Fernando Forestieri beat Costel Pantilimon one-on-one, before Troy Deeney improbably doubled Watford's lead.
The Hornets held onto their 2-0 advantage until the hour, when Sergio Aguero bagged the first of three goals.
'SuperKun' pulled the Citizens level in the 79th minute before Aleksandr Kolarov's speculative 30-yard drive embarrassed Jonathan Bond to turn the game on its head.
Aguero added his third and City's fourth in the 90th minute, finally killing off Watford's brave, but ultimately fruitless challenge.
Speaking to The Watford Observer afterwards, Sannino paid tribute to his players.
'At the start, the odds were completely against us. I told my players to enjoy the game today and to play with freedom on the pitch,' said Sannino.
'And I have to pay compliments to my players for their daring, their desire and their organisation throughout the pitch. I am very happy about that.'
The Italian also remarked that the quality of the hosts rendered any tactical changes he made meaningless, as their quality finally shone through in the final half an hour.
'In the second half, Manchester City were unbelievable - they were fantastic and they showed us their full strength.
'I tried to change the situation but you saw the result - the quality of Manchester city in my opinion overcomes any changes you can make tactically,' conceded Sannino.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted his side did not underestimate Sannino's side.
"I didn`t underestimate Watford, I didn`t think it would be easy and I told the team this. The players must not believe they have an easy game but I feel that they had a very good reaction in the second half,' Pellegrini told Manchester City's official site.
The Chilean continued: 'The whole team didn`t do the things that we normally do in the first-half, the most important thing for me is that Watford didn`t score the third goal. If they`d have scored that, the game would have been finished.'
Click here to read the match report from the Etihad. Click here to view the match facts & stats.
Date:Saturday January 25 2014
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