Manchester City played Watford today, defeating The Hornets 2-1. Pep Guardiola really turned City around, after signing on as their new coach in 2016. Some were confused on Pep’s decision for the starting back four for the game, putting in Vincent Komany, John Stones, Fabian Delph, and Kyle Walker. Although the Blues didn’t keep a clean sheet, their defense did a wonderful job at shutting down Watford’s offense from making any real goal scoring chances. City dominated over Watford, controlling 71% of the ball with seven shots on target.
Watford came out strong in the first half, having some attempts, but most of them being smothered out by Man City’s goalkeeper, Ederson. City were the first to score right before halftime, after Leroy Sane chested a cross into the goal that was sent in by Riyad Marhez. Some were skeptical about Pep starting Sane and Marhez instead of the inform Raheem Sterling, but both players proved to their critics that they can also come up big for City. Marhez did exactly that, by doubling the Blues lead right after the second half started. Marhez was left with space at the back post and from 15 yards, blasted his shot into the bottom left corner. Gabriel Jesus could have given City three goals in the 69 minute, but his chip that went over Foster, hit the post and went wide. Watford was able to take away Man Cities clean sheet after Abdoulaye Doucouré found the back of the net in the 85 minute. Doucoure got the ball at the back post after Ederson punched Gerard Deulofeu’s cross. Doucoure had his first attempt blocked on the line, but he reacted quickly to score on his second attempt.
Manchester City are still in a dominate form, even though they lost one of the key players that won them the Premier League trophy last year, Kevin de Bruyne. De Bruyne in his 52 appearances in all competitions for Man City last year, had 12 goals and 21 assists, making him an important player to the Blues’ midfield. With him gone, Guardiola has had to use different players like Bernardo Silva and David Silva in the midfield, who both have proven themselves time and time again.
Guardiola praised Watford’s coach, Javi Garcia. Garcia just signed a new four-and-a-half year deal with Watford, and Pep was quoted saying “Watford have some continuity around the same project, same ideas and same manager. It gives some stability to the club. Hopefully he goes well and he can stay a long time there”. The undefeated Man City will play Chelsea, this Saturday at 12:30 (EST).