City Complete Comfortable Win Over Waford
Sat 29th Aug - 3:00pm
Manchester City extended their winning run as they ended Watford's unbeaten start with a 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium. After a goalless first half Raheem Sterling's first goal for City put them ahead early in the second half before Fernandinho added a second just before the hour mark to claim the points.
Quique Sanchez Flores made just one change to the starting line-up from the side that played the last league game against Southampton last weekend. Almen Abdi came in for Ikechi Anya with Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo occupying the wide positions and Jose Manuel Jurado playing more centrally.
After their good start to the season Manuel Pellegrini named the same Manchester City side for the third consecutive game. That meant that City's impressive frontline of Jesus Navas, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero all started again.
As many would have expected it was the hosts Manchester City who controlled the early stages of the game. Despite their early possession City struggled to create a clear opening with Sergio Aguero having the best of the early efforts but his shot was blocked by a Hornets defender.
It was in fact Watford who had the first chance of the game after 15 minutes. Craig Cathcart found space in the City box at a corner. His header was blocked before Sebastien Prodl fired the rebound wide.
The hosts immediately got back on the front foot with Jesus Navas finding space on the right before seeing his cross evade everyone in the box.
The next chance of the game saw Manchester City come even closer to taking a first half lead. After a foul by Valon Behrami 25-yards out Aleksander Kolarov stepped up but curled his free kick just over the bar.
The fact Watford were defending so deep meant it was difficult for them to hold onto the ball when they won it and it nearly cost them when Jose Manuel Jurado lost the ball to Raheem Sterling but his effort was blocked by Cathcart.
Moments later Sterling came close again when he broke down the left and cut into the box. This time he got his effort on target but Brazilian Heurelho Gomes was equal to the task.
The final chance of the first half also fell Manchester City's way. Almen Abdi was guilty of giving the ball away to Fernandinho who found Sergio Aguero but his shot went just wide of the post.
Half Time: Manchester City 0-0 Watford
Manchester City's failure to made a breakthrough during the first period saw Manuel Pellegrini make a change at half time bringing on Samir Nasri in place of Jesus Navas.
At the change worked as the hosts made the breakthrough just over a minute into the second half. Good build up play from City saw Bacary Sagna find space on the right side. His whipped cross evaded the Watford defenders as Raheem Sterling ghosted in to slot City into the lead with his first goal for the club since joining from Liverpool.
Manchester City then continued to dominate the game with the possession as they looked for another opening to make the game safe.
That came ten minutes later when they won a free kick 25-yards out. Yaya Toure's initial effort was blocked by the wall but the rebound fell to David Silva who teed up Fernandinho in the area and he smashed the ball into the far corner past Gomes.
City began to relax having got themselves a two goal cushion. Another good move saw Sterling receive the ball in space and cross into the box for Aguero but he couldn't sort his feet out and he lost control of the ball.
Another chance for City came in the form of a free kick given away by Sebastien Prodl. David Silva stepped up to take this one but put his effort over the bar.
Watford showed some signs of life in a rare foray forward. Jurado picked up the ball in the Manchester City half and found substitute Ikechi Anya but his goalbound effort was blocked by Sagna.
As the game drew to a close the hosts had another chance to add some gloss to the scoreline. Kolarov was released down the left wing with a forward pass and his cross found Toure but he put his shot wide of the post.
Full Time: Manchester City 2-0 Watford
Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Kompany, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas (Nasri), Silva (Delph), Sterling (Iheanacho), Aguero
Subs Not Used: Caballero (GK), Demichelis, Maffeo, Roberts
Watford: Gomes, Nyom, Prodl, Cathcart, Holebas, Capoue, Behrami (Watson), Jurado, Ighalo (Layun), Abdi (Anya), Deeney
Subs Not Used: Arlauskis (GK), Hoban, Diamanti, Vydra
Att: 53,218 (1,852 Hornets)
Ref: Mr Mark Clattenburg