Man City march on as Aguero's hat trick inspires victory at Watford

Man City march on as Aguero's hat trick inspires victory at Watford
From ESPN - September 17, 2017

WATFORD, England -- Three thoughts on Manchester City's 6-0 win at Watford in the Premier League.

1. Man City march into top spot

The attacking talent that Pep Guardiola has at his disposal at Manchester City was too much for Watford. With Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva pulling the strings in midfield, Sergio Aguero grabbing a hat trick and Gabriel Jesus also scoring, an awesome six-shooting display of attacking quality fired the Vicarage Road visitors top of the Premier League.

In a fateful first half, Watford's spells of possession were brief, with long-range potshots and set pieces the order of the day for their attempts at goal. Forwards Andre Gray and Richarlison were chasing shadows, though the Brazilian missed the best early chance of the game when nodding a Jose Holebas free kick wide in the 24th minute. Watford would be duly punished.

Within three minutes, City went ahead after De Bruyne's free kick found Aguero open to nod home. The Argentinian striker compounded Watford's regrets by scoring his second from close range in the 31st minute; he could barely miss after Gabriel Jesus blazed down the left, then released David Silva on his outside. Silva's lateral pass eluded Heurelho Gomes and left Aguero with the simplest of conversions.

Next came Aguero's turn to play provider. Surging into an inside-left position, he played in Jesus for the third. Watford fans called offside, having already been aggrieved over Aguero's first. TV replays suggested they were right about both; the first was a borderline decision, but Jesus was a yard offside. However, a lack of complaints from Watford's players perhaps reflected an acceptance of their fate.

They were powerless to exert pressure on City's back four, where Fernandinho often operated as an auxiliary defender ahead of a partnership of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi. It is a pairing about which there have been doubts, but they were on cruise control here with Stones, aside from being turned by Andre Carillo at the start of the second half, excelling both defensively and when stepping out to start attacks.

Otamendi, following in the footsteps of his central defensive partner, who scored twice in midweek against Feyenoord, got himself on the scoresheet when heading in a cross from Silva in the 64th minute. Any Watford resistance, such as it had been in a slightly improved performance after the break, was now broken.

Aguero notched his treble with a fine finish after being released by an overlapping Kyle Walker and, when Raheem Sterling was fouled by Christian Kabasele, he stepped up himself to notch a goal from the penalty spot.

2. De Bruyne at his brilliant best


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