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Watford vs Manchester City at Vicarage Road

FT
Vicarage Road Referee : Michael Oliver
21st July 2020 6:00 PM (BST)
  • 0 Watford

  • 4 Manchester City

    • ‘31' Raheem Sterling
    • ‘40' Raheem Sterling
    • ‘63' Phil Foden
    • ‘66' Aymeric Laporte

#mancity

Commentary By Neil Leigh

21:03

A fond farewell

I'm signing off now after what was a pretty decent night by any standards.

A 4-0 win, some cracking individual performances and City back to our sparkling, attacking best.

Thanks as always for your company and be sure to join us again on Sunday when we wrap up our Premier League campaign at home to Norwich City.

See you then.

20:37

The boss on Raheem's latest goals...

"I donโ€™t have any complaints. I love when the players can achieve their desires and score the goals and have the commitment to score the goals. I like it.

"Raheem has to know like all of us, we are far away from Liverpool. I think this was the first time we won four games in a row in the PL. Last season we won 18. That means we must improve our consistency."

20:36

More from the boss...๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

"You have to do everything to win the game. It is not about winning or losing. You can play bad, but you have to run and fight. It didnโ€™t happen against Arsenal that's why we lost.

20:23

Raheem's verdict...

 

"After a disappointing match at Wembley we had to find rhythm today. 

On his first goal:  "It bounced perfectly for me to hit it."

On taking the penalty: "I scored the first one and i was on 18, I knew i had another chance to get the hat-trick, it didn't happen but really happy with the two goals.

On reaching 20 goals in the Premier League.

"It's massive as a winger to score 20 in the Premier League. It's a massive achievement and we have one more game left, i hope I can do it then."

20:11

More from the boss...

  

"Aymeric Laporte had a tough injury and was out for a long time and he's an important player for us.

"He's a big guy and today was the best game he has played in the last month."

20:09

Pep's verdict...

 "We more aggressive in all senses.

"(We had to) Be ourselves you can play better or worse but the minimum you need is passion and desire and we showed it today.

20:01

Night to remember...

Positives aplenty wherever you look tonight.

Raheem Sterling's brace, more Kevin De Bruyne brilliance, another Phil Foden goal, another Ederson clean sheet, Aymeric Laporte's first league goal of the season and a superb showing from Rodrigo.

Job done all in all!!

19:53

Full time

Emphatic stuff from City.

Two goals from Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte also on target.

Superb stuff from Pep Guardiola's side - Watford's battle to stay up goes on.

89'

Leading man ๐Ÿ’ช

Captain KDB still urging City on and he delivers a delightful ball behind the Watford defence to Zinchenko but the Ukrainian is offside.

Open
80'

Watford booking

Mariappa goes into the book for a blatant foul on Foden as he skips down the left flank.

KDB on the case again with the free kick but for once it comes to nought.

79'

Danny Welbeck on as a sub for Watford and he almost immediately gets in on the scoresheet as he breaks clear but Ederson is equal to the challenge with a smart stop.

79'

Super Tuesday!

So much to admire about City's play tonight.

You just knew there would be a positive reaction to last weekend.

It's been Watford's misfortune to be the next team to meet us.

77'

Not this time...

More pinball in the Watford box but this time the ball doesn't go in.

City are toying with the Hornets now. A tough old night for the hosts.


70'

Drinks break

I'd say the way City are firing on all cylinders would be enough to drive any Watford fan to drink.

It has been remorseless stuff - but brilliant to watch!

Open
66'

City changes

No hat-trick from Raz tonight. Sterling and Kyle Walker are brought off as Riyad Mahrez and Oleks Zinchenko come on.

City still look hungry for more.

64'

Lethal weapons

Brilliance from KDB to put in Sterling, Raheem fires in on goal, Foster saves but Foden is there following up to fire home.

Get in!!!

61'

Focus time...๐Ÿ‘€

Fine work by Eric Garcia sees the Spaniard snuff out a Watford break down the left flank. The teenage central defender has been ever alert to the danger so far this evening.

58'

So close...

A vital block by Cleverley prevents a through ball from Jesus finding the onrushing Bernardo.

Watford having to work overtime here just to keep City at bay.


55'

Hot Rod

Rodri has been excellent tonight and the midfielder dinks in a delicious 25 yard through ball to Sterling but this time the forward can't convert.

53'

Shame...

Some brilliant attacking work from Cancelo sees the left back cause havoc down the left flank before he cuts inside and blazes an ambitious shot high and wide.

47'

Almost...

City almost off to a flying start to the second half as Foster keeps out Gabriel Jesus's goalbound strike after Watford had given the ball away.

HT

Good as goals โšฝ

Interesting that it was Sterling and not De Bruyne who took the penalty. 

A sign maybe of Raheem's confidence and maybe also that he has half an eye on the Premier League golden boot?

Meanwhile, Raz now needs just two more to bring up his City century too.

All in all, not too shabby!!

HT

More of the same please lads...โšฝ๏ธ

You do get the feeling there are more goals in this for City.

We seem to have that desire and hunger to go on and further reinforce our superiority.

45'+1'

Almost three...

More brilliance from City. Laporte feeds Bernardo with a delicious ball, Bernardo drills back to the waiting De Bruyne but the Belgian's effort is just off target.

37'

Phil yer boots

Now Foden goes through his box of tricks on the left of the Watford, showing great feet, and he is almost brought down by Cleverley.

33'

Gr-Eight!!!

That's Raz's eighth goal in his last five games against Watford.

That was Sterling at his deadly best - and not too shabby an assist from Kyle Walker either!

28'

Hmmm...

Cleverley whips in a curling long range effort which Ederson watches carefully as it whistles just wide.

Cool as a cucumber our Brazilian keeper!

Open
23'

Close!

Cleverley gets a crucial block on Sterling's shot but City build again and Phil Foden's close range shot is deflected behind.

Now it's time for the first half drinks break. City going up through the gears.

17'

Watching brief...

Watford looking to use their pace and power on the counter attack. The City defence will know their need to be on constant alert.

Open
12'

What a save

Brilliant block from Ben Foster to keep out a Rodri rocket which takes a deflection off Gabriel Jesus. Looked destined for the top right hand corner of the net.

11'

To and fro

City already dominating both territory and possession and slick in possession as we look to pick our moment.

But Watford fire a warning as Will Hughes lashes a speculative shot wide.

0'

Sunny side up...๐ŸŒž

Perfect night for football with the sun beating down on Vicarage Road.

Here's hoping we see some sunshine football from Pep's players!!

17:53

Just over five minutes until kick-off. How we feeling Blues?

I'm feeling confident... think we'll see the prefect response this evening.

Not long to wait now...

17:44

Fair to say that Jill Scott's a fan of El Mago!!

"I can't even put him into words. He's like magician.

"We speak about Phil Foden - and he really does model his game on him - but the way David turns with the ball....

"It looks so easy when you watch it but it's not. He just turns and faces forward and sees the pass.

"He's such a fantastic player for this team - there's not going to be another one like him."


17:34

Pep's pre-match thoughts ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Try to play good, respect the competition. We don't play for anything except to do our job and recover our good feelings.

"Be ourselves. try to play our game in the way we have to play. Try to do it again and again.

"I'm not thinking about (the team for Real Madrid yet). It's two games but, after, we have two weeks before Real Madrid. Training will be fundamental to the Real Madrid game.

"They (Watford) play for important things. I don't know how they are going to play (with the change of manager) but expect an aggressive team for what they have to play for.

"Less of a job for me to do (with new manager). You cannot watch any game with this manager. You cannot do it but you have to adapt for the quality of the players there for whatever manager."


17:28

Joao Cancelo's pre-match thoughts...

"We always play to win. Obviously, we didn't get a good result on Saturday.

"We have to get back to winning ways and we have an important game ahead of us in the Champions League.

"We have to keep the level of performance, keeping in condition to be able to stay in best possible shape.

"Sometimes, itโ€™s a matter of attitude. We've been playing amazing in the season but sometimes it's not enough."


17:25

Did you know? ๐Ÿค”

 ๐Ÿ”น City need to score four times versus the Hornets to equal the Premier League record of 12 goals against an opponent in a single season.

 ๐Ÿ”น Guardiola's men have scored 93 Premier League goals this term, at least 16 more than any other club.

17:16

Talking tactics...๐Ÿ’™

Club journalist John Edwards: "It looks like Guardiola has opted for his preferred 4-3-3 formation, with Cancelo replacing Mendy at left-back.

"Ordinarily a right-back, the Portuguese defender has played on the opposite side on occasion this season.

"He and Walker will flank Garcia and Laporte in the heart of defence, with Rodrigo just in front of them in the midfield anchor role.

"De Bruyne and Foden will operate ahead of the Spaniard, whilst Bernardo and Sterling will play either side of Jesus."

17:14

Razzle dazzle โšฝ๏ธ

 ๐Ÿ”น Raheem Sterling has scored six goals and assisted one in his last two appearances against the Hornets.

 ๐Ÿ”น City are unbeaten in the 33 games in which Gabriel Jesus has scored, winning 32.

17:10

Foden our flexible friend...

 Caroline Weir on Phil Foden:

"I think what's so good is that he's such a young player and so adaptable - he can play in several positions.

"That's why he's so successful, getting in the team consistently.

"I personally prefer him in the centre of the park. He's a leftie and that adds something different but he can also play out wide.

"He brings so much - he's creative and technically so good.

"He's always going to be a threat."

16:50

Team news reminder...๐Ÿ“ƒ

Don't know about you but these differing kick-off times have played havoc with my body clock wiring!!

Suffice to say that with it being a 6pm kick-off tonight, it's time for a ten minute warning before we find out the team news.

16:47

Stats the way to do it...๐Ÿ“ˆ

A couple more intriguing stats for you to digest...

 ๐Ÿ”น City have accrued a league-high 18 points since the restart in mid-June and have scored a division-best 25 goals.

 ๐Ÿ”น Pep Guardiola's side are also looking to win four consecutive league fixtures for the first time this campaign.

16:44

Warning note...

Though it has been a tough old season for Waford, it is worth remembering they were the first side to inflict a league defeat on champions Liverpool this season, recording a shock 3-0 win over Jurgen Klopp's side back in February.

Proof positive that these Hornets do possess a dangerous sting in the tail. 

16:39

Pep's pre-match thoughts...๐Ÿ‘‡

โ€œWe are going to make some changes [for Watford].

โ€œSome players played in the semi-final and will play but we will see.

โ€œWe will play the next two games and try to let all of them play.โ€

16:31

Team thoughts โ“

Just under half an hour until we find out tonight's team news.

What are your thoughts Blues?

Who would you like to see in our starting eleven?

16:24

Stat attack...๐Ÿ“ˆ

We all love good stat right?

Well these two should get you in the perfect pre-match mood for starters...

 ๐Ÿ”น City are on a 12-match winning streak against the Hornets, by an overall aggregate score of 46-6. 

 ๐Ÿ”น  Watford are winless in the last 17 meetings between the sides in all competitions (D2, L15). 


16:19

Three cheers...?

Don't know about you but it has already been a good day.

The sun has been shining which means the washing's dry and the lawn has been mown. 

All we need now is for a three point return from Vicarage Road to make it the perfect day!!

16:13

All to play for...โšฝ

Though we have second place already assured in the Premier League, there will be no lack of motivation as the players look to try and impress ahead of next month's Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

It's also a huge game for the hosts as they are still fighting to preserve their top flight status.

The Hornets parted company with Nigel Pearson at the weekend with Under-23 boss Hayden Mullins placed in temporary charge so we can expect toughest possible test tonight.


16:06

Get back in the groove โœŒ๏ธ

Tonight of course we will be looking to quickly return to winning ways after the disappointment of last Saturday's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal.

The beauty of sport is that it offers you a chance to bounce back immediately.

And judging by the boss's pre-match press conference yesterday, the players will be itching to prove a point

16:04

Must see viewing... ๐Ÿ“บ

Our new matchday show We're Not Really Here has already become essential viewing for all City fans. Informative, entertaining, engaging... its got everything you want as a City fan and more besides.

Tonight's special guests are Caroline Weir and Jill Scott who will be joining presenters Cel Spellman and Natalie Paweleck from 5pm to run the rule over the game.

 We return at half-time for a brief round-up on the opening 45 minutes, and five minutes after the final whistle, weโ€™ll be live for half an hour of post-match reaction, when all our guests will dissect the game and respond to the fansโ€™ Man of the Match poll, questions, and comments.

It's a must watch for every City fan...


 


16:00

Good afternoon Blues! โšฝ


Here we are again folks ahead of another busy match night as the games keep coming thick and fast for Pep Guardiola's side.

This evening we're back in Premier League action as we travel to Watford for what will be our penultimate game of the 2019/20 Premier League season.

It's a 6pm BST kick-off at Vicarage Road and as always, we'll have all of the behind-the-scenes build-up, minute-by-minute live coverage and instant post-match reaction right here in the Matchday Centre.

I'll be your host tonight, monitoring all the developments from my South Manchester living room.

And, as ever, we'd love to hear from you so get in touch on Twitter using the hashtag #WNRH.

COME ON, CITY!

10:11

Early team news ๐Ÿ“‹

Speaking in his pre-match press conference yesterday, Pep Guardiola said he could rotate his side with City having played 10 matches in five weeks since the restart, with two more to come this week as the league campaign comes to a conclusion.

Sergio Aguero remains sidelined as he continues to recover from a knee injury, whilst Claudio Bravo may also be unavailable if his muscular injury persists.

โ€œWe are going to make some changes [for Watford],โ€ he said.

โ€œSome players played in the semi-final and will play but we will see.

โ€œWe will play the next two games and try to let all of them play.โ€

For Watford, ร‰tienne Capoue (knock) is unavailable for this match, having missed the trip to West Ham United, while Gerard Deulofeu is still recovering from a ruptured ACL.

Daryl Janmaat (knee) and Isaac Success (Achilles) are also expected to miss out.

Both starting XIs will be announced at 5pm BST.

10:09

Great Scot(t)s โœจ

It's a star-studded line-up for tonight's We're Not Really Here live show with Jill Scott and Caroline Weir as our studio guests!

The pair will offer their analysis of our penultimate Premier League match of the season alongside hosts Cel Spellman and Natalie Paweleck

If you like your build up to be solely focused on City, then Weโ€™re Not Really Here is the show for you, providing you with the inside track on everything you need to know before the game gets under way.

We return at half-time for a brief round-up on the opening 45 minutes, and five minutes after the final whistle, weโ€™ll be live for half an hour of post-match reaction, when all our guests will dissect the game and respond to the fansโ€™ Man of the Match poll, questions, and comments.

10:04

It's matchday! โšฝ

A very good morning to you.

We're back again for another City matchday, as Pep Guardiola's men travel to Watford in the penultimate game of the 2019/20 Premier League season.

It's a 6pm BST kick-off at Vicarage Road and as always, we'll have all of the behind-the-scenes build-up, minute-by-minute live coverage and instant post-match reaction right here in the Matchday Centre.

As ever, we'd love to hear from you so get in touch on Twitter using the hashtag #WNRH.

COME ON, CITY!

Other games that day

  • Aston Villa1
    Arsenal0
    FT
  • Manchester United0
    West Ham United0
    KO
  • Liverpool0
    Chelsea0
    KO

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 Liverpool 36 +48 93
3 Chelsea 36 +15 63
4 Leicester City 37 +28 62
5 Manchester United 36 +28 62
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 37 +13 59
7 Tottenham Hotspur 37 +14 58
8 Sheffield United 37 +2 54
9 Burnley 37 -6 54
10 Arsenal 37 +7 53
11 Everton 37 -10 49
12 Southampton 37 -11 49
13 Newcastle United 37 -18 44
14 Crystal Palace 37 -19 42
15 Brighton and Hove Albion 37 -16 38
16 West Ham United 36 -13 37
17 Aston Villa 37 -26 34
18 Watford 37 -27 34
19 Bournemouth 37 -27 31
20 Norwich City 37 -44 21
Link To Full Table