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Watford vs Manchester City at Vicarage Road

Vicarage Road Referee : Paul Tierney
4th December 2018 8:00 PM (GMT)
  • 1 Watford

    • ‘85' Abdoulaye Doucouré
  • 2 Manchester City

    • ‘40' Leroy Sané
    • ‘51' Riyad Mahrez


Commentary By Rob Pollard


Our goal difference of +38 is the best recorded by an English top-flight team after the first 15 games of a season since Sunderland in 1892-93 (+39).



"We make a good performance. The game was really good, we were so aggressive, win a lot of balls. Foster made incredible saves.

"After that we forget to be in the position and our build up was not as quick as normal, and the chances we had to counter-attack we missed.

"We don’t score the third, they make it 2-1 and in the last minutes anything can happen."



"Yeah, we had the chances to kill the game with the third and the fourth and we miss it. It is what it is. We knew it.

"We are not new in this league and we know it happens."



"Well first half they have one clear chance but we had many. Three or four after 0-2 when the game was under control.

"Then, okay, we start to lose balls and let them have the opportunity to come back. And of course when they score with 10 mins left you suffer.

"In this league you have to score the third goal and we didn’t do that, that’s why we suffer."



"It was a good old Premier League game, as soon as they scored long balls are gonna start coming, they are a team that are extremely physical up front. Credit to us for staying strong and winning some key challenges in the end. 

"I don't think we ever lose focus. Maybe Watford being at home became more brave. We had chances to make it 3-0 and when it doesn’t happen and anything can happen. We managed the game pretty well. Okay, the last ten minutes was a battle but you can't win every game playing fantasy football."



"At the end they pushed but we handled the situation very well. The most important is to go back with the three points.

"We knew once we scored the first it opens up the game, we had more space. When it was 2-0 we had chances to kill the game and we didn't.

"That’s why when they scored it was difficult. But we won a lot of challenges and go back with the three points.”


One amazing stat. It's the best start ever by defending Premier League champions. Speaks volumes as to the quality and character of Pep Guardiola's squad 


That frantic final few minutes should not detract from what was another fine display by Pep Guardiola's side. So much to admire about City tonight.


Full time ....and breathe. It was far more nervy than we wanted but it's another win and we move five points clear at the top - for 24 hours at least

Important tackle by Fabian Delph as Watford press and a spot of pinball in the City box and Watford have another corner. I almost can't watch...

TV replays showing Mahrez's shot a few minutes clearly struck a Watford player's raised arm in the box - the referee and his assistant missed that one!


Mahrez with a left-footed cross to the bak post for Silva, and somehow he managed to miss....but the ball came back to Mahrez, who again crossed left-footed and this time Sane chested it home through Foster's legs!!!


Bernardo, who has caused Watford all sorts of problems, crosses beautifully. Foster comes out to collect, spills it, but then gathers quickly. 


Just seen the last Mahrez chance again. It was actually a fine save from Foster, Sprawled out at Mahrez's feet, he manages to slap the ball away as it looked to be going past him. 


Chaos inside the area. Ball pinging around and Foster struggles to gather. Eventually, the linesman flags for offside and everything calms down. 

City really cranking things up. 


So close to an opener! Pereyra gives the ball away to Sane and BANG he flew forward and left Kabasele in his wake. Foster makes a fine save though at Sane's feet. 


Pereyra, who is a real threat, skips past Fernandinho and shoots across Ederson - but it goes wide of the far post. Very good play. 

He's a tricky customer who needs careful attention tonight. 


The Hornets have lost three of their last four home league games, as many defeats as they suffered in their previous 15 at Vicarage Road (W8, D4). 



"They are strong from set pieces and are doing a very good season. Always it is tough here in Watford. 

"We have to bring our game. We will see."


City XI

31. Ederson

2. Kyle Walker

4. Vincent Kompany (C)

5. John Stones

18. Fabian Delph

19. Leroy Sané

20. Bernardo Silva

21. David Silva

25. Fernandinho

26. Riyad Mahrez

33. Gabriel Jesus



49. Aro Muric

3. Danilo

7. Raheem Sterling

8. Ilkay Gündogan

14. Aymeric Laporte

30. Nicolas Otamendi

47. Phil Foden 


Team news incoming

Ten minutes until team news. Who would you pick? Given all the games we've got coming up, surely some rotation is needed? 


Stones and Laporte seem to have everything a modern-day centre-back partnership needs: power, pace, defensive nous and ball-playing ability. 

And they're both just 24. So much scope for improvement. 


Stones-Laporte axis

It's been an amazing season so far for City. One of the most exciting subplots, for me, has been the development of the Stones-Laporte partnership. Those two are really showing signs of making a top pairing. 

The only away league goal we've conceded in the league this season was scored by Wolves' Willy Boly with the aid of his hand in August.

That is remarkable. 



"December is tough. We have to eat a lot, drink a lot (in a good way), sleep and prepare. We push everybody and we will see if that has an impact on the decision of the game. We have a lot of games. People will be tired."



"Last season was an exception… especially the end of December and January,

"I think we have just two less points than this time last year, and what we have done is quite similar, but the contenders are much better."


Pep on Sterling

"He can do better. We are so delighted with what he's done in three years but he can do better.

"He can be more consistent - first controls, his receptions, many, many things. I've said many times we are delighted but he can do better."


Watford boss Javi Gracia

"Nothing is impossible. You always have chances, and we want to take advantage of the chances we have.

"Everybody knows it's difficult to get a good result against City, but they have drawn twice this season - maybe we are able to be the first getting a victory. You never know."


Watford team news

Daryl Janmaat could play for the first time in 10 weeks after recovering from knee surgery.

Tom Cleverley and Sebastian Prodl are also back fit for the Hornets.  


Pep's preview

Guardiola also spoke highly of opposition manager Javi Gracia.

“He has been excellent,” he said. “What he has done in many countries is excellent.

"He helps to keep clubs stable. Hopefully, he can stay for a long time here.”


Team news

Pep Guardiola said in his press conference on Monday that it was too soon to say if Sergio Aguero and Oleks Zinchenko would be fit for tonight's game.

The Argentine striker missed Saturday’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth with a muscle injury, while the Ukrainian was substituted with a nose injury.

“I don’t know (if they can play),” said Guardiola.

“I can’t tell you the answer now. Kevin De Bruyne is not ready. The other two I don’t know right now.”


It's matchday!

The games are coming thick and fast now...

City travel to Watford tonight (8pm), looking to continue our excellent run and extend our lead atop the Premier League table.

As always, we'll have all of the build-up, live coverage and post-match reaction right here so stay tuned!

Other games that day

  • Bournemouth2
    Huddersfield Town1
  • Brighton and Hove Albion3
    Crystal Palace1
  • West Ham United3
    Cardiff City1

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Liverpool 14 +22 36
3 Chelsea 14 +19 31
4 Arsenal 14 +14 30
5 Tottenham Hotspur 14 +10 30
6 Bournemouth 15 +3 23
7 Everton 14 +4 22
8 Manchester United 14 -1 22
9 Leicester City 14 +3 21
10 Brighton and Hove Albion 15 -2 21
11 Watford 15 -3 20
12 West Ham United 15 -3 18
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14 -4 16
14 Newcastle United 14 -8 12
15 Crystal Palace 15 -9 12
16 Cardiff City 15 -16 11
17 Huddersfield Town 15 -16 10
18 Southampton 14 -14 9
19 Burnley 14 -16 9
20 Fulham 14 -21 8
Link To Full Table