Watford – Man City recap: Raheem Sterling’s two-goal day led the latest Manchester City rout of Watford, taking the Hornets’ Premier League fate out of their control in a 4-0 win at Vicarage Road on Tuesday.
Sterling set personal bests in Premier League and all comps with his goals and would’ve had more if not for Watford keeper Ben Foster.
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Kevin De Bruyne moved to the brink of PL assist history (assistory?) when he set up Aymeric Laporte for a goal, and Phil Foden also scored as City moved onto 78 points.
Watford’s 34 points have them in danger of the drop if it loses, Aston Villa wins one of its last two or Bournemouth wins on the season’s final day. All three sides have minus-37 goal differential before Villa meets Arsenal later Tuesday.
Three things we learned
1. Watford in big trouble: The Hornets hoped for three points, would’ve taken one, and at a minimum hoped to keep goal differential down. That did not happen. At all. Watford finishes at Arsenal on the final day. That’s a big ask given the Gunners’ status as alive for Europa League footing. An Aston Villa win would turn this into a goal differential dance, and the Villans finish with West Ham.
2. Assist record challenge alive? Kevin De Bruyne was the star of the show in again pulling the strings for Raheem Sterling and the City attack, and collected his 19th assist of the season on a free kick to Aymeric Laporte. Thierry Henry’s record for assists in a single PL season is 20, and Man City finishes at home to Norwich City on the final day. Will he do it?
3. Record Raheem: Sterling’s second goal of the match gave him 19 on the Premier League season, a new single-campaign best for the 25-year-old who authored 18 PL goals in 2017-18 and 17 last season. The goals added to his career-best year in all competitions. The total now stands at 29. You’d bet on him hitting 30 between Norwich City, Real Madrid, and perhaps another round of the UCL.
Man of the Match
De Bruyne, because we’re sharing the wealth and Sterling’s been getting plenty of love. Tie goes to the runner.
Watford – Man City recap
It was all City from Moment No. 1 to the surprise of few given the teams’ forms and general record against each other.
Sterling put Man City ahead with a rocket assisted by Kyle Walker and soon found himself at the spot following a foul by Will Hughes.
Ben Foster saved Sterling’s penalty but the forward was easily the first to the rebound and deposited it for 2-0.
Foster made a number of inventions to keep the damage at two for some time, and Watford caught another break when Adrian Mariappa’s handball went uncalled and unreviewed by VAR early in the second half.
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Foden made it 3-0 on a juicy rebound when Foster denied Sterling a hat trick after Kevin De Bruyne slipped the striker through on goal.
De Bruyne got a deserved assist when he put a free kick on a plate for Laporte to head home with class in the 67th minute.
Ederson got off his line to deny a streaking Ismaila Sarr as Watford looked to claw the goal back that would’ve given them goal differential hope/