Bernardo Silva scored twice as in-form Manchester Metropolis capitalised on Chelsea’s defeat to West Ham by beating Watford 3-1 at Vicarage Street to maneuver high of the Premier League desk.
Metropolis have now received their previous 14 video games in opposition to Watford and this newest victory wasn’t unsure from the second Raheem Sterling headed dwelling simply 4 minutes in, scoring in opposition to the Hornets for the sixth match in a row.
Aymeric Laporte had already seen a shot cleared off the road by that time and Jack Grealish missed a collection of fine possibilities teed up by Phil Foden earlier than the sensible Bernardo Silva slotted in (31) to double the benefit.
After the break, Silva lower in on his left foot to bend a magnificence into the highest nook (63) for his fifth aim in 5 league video games, whereas Foden and Grealish hit the woodwork in a dominant show from the reigning champions.
Half-time sub Cucho Hernandez did pull one again for Watford (74), following up his personal shot in opposition to the far submit, and Josh King pinged his low cross simply broad moments later however Metropolis regained management to see out the ultimate levels and make it 5 Premier League wins on the spin.
Claudio Ranieri hadn’t misplaced to Metropolis in his earlier 9 matches as a supervisor in opposition to them however after dropping six of his first eight video games in cost at Watford, this complete defeat underlined the massive activity he has on his palms to elevate them away from hazard. Watford stay seventeenth, three factors above the relegation zone, though their fixture checklist now turns into simpler.
On the different finish of the desk, Metropolis are on the summit for the primary time this season, one level forward of Liverpool and two away from Chelsea.
Watford: Bachmann (7), Femenia (6), Ekong (5), Cathcart (5), Rose (4), Louza (5), Joao Pedro (6), Sissoko (6), Cleverley (5), Dennis (6), King (5)
Subs: Hernandez (8), Kucka (6), Ngakia (N/A)
Man Metropolis: Ederson (7), Walker (7), Dias (7), Laporte (6), Cancelo (7), Gundogan (8), Rodri (7), Bernardo Silva (8), Sterling (8), Grealish (6), Foden (8)
Subs: Mahrez (6), De Bruyne (6), Jesus (6)
Man of the match: Raheem Sterling (Man Metropolis)
The way it occurred…
In addition to their outstanding document over Watford, Metropolis arrived at Vicarage Street with a replenished squad and virtually took the lead inside two minutes, when Aymeric Laporte – again from suspension – headed fit-again Foden’s nook goalwards, however Joao Pedro hooked off the road.
However there was no safety for Daniel Bachmann within the Watford aim when unmarked Sterling met Foden’s cross from the left to place Metropolis forward moments later to maintain up his scoring streak in opposition to the Hornets.
Metropolis – and Foden specifically – have been pulling Watford aside however Jack Grealish spurned two extra good possibilities created by his team-mate with barely 11 minutes on the clock.
Watford ultimately managed to get one thing of a foothold, with Emmanuel Dennis capturing from a decent angle, however a deflected effort from Metropolis’s £100m man virtually caught out Bachmann and Grealish then shot over because the guests reasserted their authority.
- Watford made one change from the facet which began in opposition to Chelsea and that’s a compelled one, with Danny Rose changing the injured Adam Masina, as he did in that sport.
- Pep Guardiola made 5 adjustments to the Man Metropolis facet which beat Aston Villa in midweek, with Kyle Walker, Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish, and Phil Foden all again from harm, whereas Aymeric Laporte returned from suspension.
- Oleksandr Zinchenko, Nathan Ake, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez, and Gabriel Jesus got here out of the Metropolis facet.
Silva ultimately added the deserved second after enjoying in Ilkay Gundogan and pouncing on the free ball after his team-mate’s shot was saved.
Watford made two substitutions at half-time, with Cucho Hernandez and Juraj Kucka despatched on, however Bachmann was quickly again in motion, saving from Sterling earlier than pushing a Foden shot onto the submit and out for a nook.
Gundogan shot over after instigating a swift counter, however Bernardo was inch-perfect along with his end into the highest nook for Metropolis’s third, bending a candy left-foot effort past Bachmann from simply contained in the field.
A depraved deflection on a Grealish shot looped the ball onto the Watford woodwork once more quickly after however in opposition to the run of play it was Watford to hit the online subsequent, with Hernandez taking issues into his personal palms, blasting in opposition to the far submit earlier than changing the rebound.
The sub then fired in a low cross which was steered simply broad of the close to submit by Joshua King because the Watford followers dreamed of a dramatic comeback. However Metropolis regained the higher hand and Kevin De Bruyne virtually marked his return to health with a nice curling effort, however his strike drifted simply over.
Metropolis’s assertion had been made although – and observers in Liverpool and west London will know they’ll now take some stopping.
Evaluation: Reigning champions trying so sturdy
Sky Sports activities’ Peter Smith at Vicarage Street:
“Watford have been higher within the second half however this was an ominous efficiency from Man Metropolis, so far as their title rivals are involved.
“They’ve hit high spot within the Premier League, they’ve their finest gamers again match and out there, and so they have a useful run of video games earlier than enjoying Arsenal and Chelsea in the beginning of January.
“In the event that they preserve enjoying like this, they will not give Liverpool and Chelsea a lot probability to strike again earlier than the calendar yr is out.
“We appear set for an exhilarating three-way title race and the main trio have all had shocking slip-ups at occasions, which provides to the joy – however Metropolis are in pole place now.”
Opta stats – Metropolis win at Watford once more
- Manchester Metropolis are unbeaten throughout their final 19 conferences with Watford in all competitions (W17 D2), netting 62 objectives on this run. They’ve solely ever had an extended unbeaten run as soon as earlier than in opposition to a selected facet – 22 video games in opposition to Norwich from 1965-1981.
- Watford have didn’t preserve a clear sheet in any of their final 25 Premier League matches, the longest run of any facet within the competitors since Burnley’s 29-game run between November 2009 and August 2014.
- Manchester Metropolis supervisor Pep Guardiola has received all 10 of his managerial conferences with Watford in all competitions by an combination rating of 42-4, his finest 100% profitable document in opposition to any facet.
- Watford have conceded 41 objectives in 13 video games in opposition to Manchester Metropolis within the Premier League, essentially the most they’ve conceded in opposition to any single facet within the competitors. The three.2 objectives per sport that they’ve conceded on this fixture is essentially the most by one facet in opposition to one other amongst all fixtures performed no less than 10 occasions.
- Bernardo Silva has scored six objectives in his final eight Premier League appearances for Manchester Metropolis – yet one more than in his earlier 61 video games within the competitors (5). He has scored extra Premier League objectives in opposition to Watford (5) than he has versus another membership.
- Phil Foden has scored 21 objectives and assisted an extra 15 in all competitions for Manchester Metropolis for the reason that begin of final season – his 36 complete objectives & assists are three greater than another participant for the membership over this era.
- Manchester Metropolis’s Raheem Sterling has scored 11 objectives in all competitions in opposition to Watford, his joint-best tally in his skilled profession, additionally scoring 11 objectives in opposition to Bournemouth. Sterling has scored 4 objectives in his final six video games for Manchester Metropolis, which is yet one more aim than he’d netted in his earlier 33 matches.
- Kyle Walker has now received 100 of his 130 Premier League appearances for Manchester Metropolis, along with profitable 102 video games within the competitors with Tottenham Hotspur. Walker is simply the third participant to win 100+ Premier League video games with two totally different sides after Ashley Cole (140 with Chelsea, 100 with Arsenal) and Phil Neville (175 with Man Utd, 105 with Everton).
Watford journey to Brentford on Friday Evening Soccer, whereas Metropolis face RB Leipzig of their closing Champions League group-stage conflict on Tuesday (5.45pm), earlier than internet hosting Wolves within the league on Saturday December 11 (12.30pm).