Bernardo Silva had a hat trick, while David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Nicolas Otamendi, Sergio Aguero, and Riyard Mahrez also scored in a match which saw City score inside of 54 seconds and five times in the first 18 minutes.
City hit the post several times and just missed a goal in stoppage time which would’ve matched Manchester United’s single game PL record.
Three things we learned
1. De Bruyne unfair: Sensational on the day in pulling the strings, he pulled a ripcord to unveil a vicious strike on City’s 85th minute goal. The way he made it look so easy to unleash so much power was an emblematic moment for the 8-star display.
2. Too much, too fast for Watford:Watch all five first half goals here. Quique Sanchez Flores opened up with Gerard Deulofeu alone up top and nearly got a goal, but his offense-first five-man midfield was a cool idea that fizzled oh-so-quickly. The Hornets have already accepted their fate as a bottom half team by changing managers after four weeks, but they may have to also view themselves as a relegation possibility despite so many good players.
3. Bernardo Silva arrives: There were fits and starts for Pep Guardiola‘s Portuguese playmaker to start the season, and a goal against Brighton was met by an assist in the loss to Norwich City. On Saturday, he unleashed his power to the tune of a hat trick.
It took 54 seconds for De Bruyne to assist David Silva with an outstanding opener, but Gerard Deulofeu nearly answered when he danced around Nicolas Otamendi to force a conceded corner out of Ederson.
Silva, marked for Inter Miami in a mid-week report, was the finisher for the 55th time in his Premier League career and 72nd for his club.
Ben Foster then gave away a useless penalty when he slapped a through ball out of bounds before felling Riyad Mahrez for an easy penalty. Aguero stepped to the spot calm as you like and dispatched the No. 2 to the scoreboard.
That was hardly the end to Watford’s woes, as Mahrez dazzled with a dribble through the heart of the field to earn a free kick atop the 18. There was only one destination, given the series of events. 3-0.
Bernardo Silva then got in on the act, when Otamendi nodded a De Bruyne corner to the back post for a prone finish and 4-0. Not to be outdone, Otamendi was back post for a finish of his own, giving City its fifth goal off an Aguero assist.
Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva also scored for City, who will enter the international break no lower than second on the table while boasting the league’s best goal differential (10).
Brighton dips 15th with four points and a minus-2 goal differential.
Laporte’s injury looms — City cruised to victory, but Laporte’s departure via stretcher threatens to overshadow the easy win. Perhaps no City player is more important to Pep Guardiola‘s system.
David Silva’s class is permanent — Perhaps it would be easier to talk about Sergio Aguero still scoring goals for fun at age 31. But Silva is two years older and in his last season at the Etihad Stadium, and has two assists in each of his last two matches.
The brilliant behind Mat Ryan angle of Sergio Aguero’s second goal begs you to imagine stopping it.
We’ve got six anxious writers and 16 burning questions ahead of the start of this Premier League season.
Let’s get after it.
The PL season is upon us. What’s the first storyline that pops into your head?
Joe Prince-Wright: So many right away! But the main one: Christian Pulisic is about to become a genuine American superstar.
Nick Mendola: As an American, I can’t help my mind jumping to Pulisic but really it’s all about whether Man City can become the fifth club to win three-straight top flight English titles. And if it does, City will have done it in the most difficult era to do so.
Andy Edwards: What kind of backwards world are we living in that just about everyone enters the PL season with “Spurs are clearly the third-best team and should finish third with no problem” in their mind?
Kyle Bonn: Liverpool vs Man City for the title. Starts there and finishes there.
Dan Karell: Can Man City do a three-peat and win the league yet again?
Joel Soria: A Champions League winner, Aston Villa, are back in the PL and have made some ambitious signings.
How many clubs have legitimate shot of winning the Premier League?
JPW: Three. Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham.
NM: Spurs, Liverpool, and Man City.
AE: Spurs might very well be the third-best team, but it’s a distant third.
KB: Two. Spurs is still changing its makeup enough that the club won’t last the full season.
DK: In reality – two. Manchester City and Liverpool. However, if Arsenal’s defense somehow comes together and the attack is as good as expected, perhaps they could be a dark horse. Also, if Harry Kane can stay healthy for the whole season, they can certainly challenge. But as of today, it’s Man City and Liverpool which are head and shoulders above everyone.
JS: Only three: Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham.
Which of the Top Six is at biggest risk for dropping out of the Top Six?
JPW: Arsenal, because of their failure to strengthen their defense.
NM: Manchester United. Granted they lost the most man games to injury last season, but the reliance on Marcus Rashford at center forward is a question, as is the midfield and the ability of Paul Pogba to produce on a week-in, week-out basis.
AE: It seems like no one is considering just how big of an impact losing Eden Hazard will be for Chelsea. They haven’t been functional, let alone good, without him at his best for years now.
KB: Arsenal. The Gunners have a do or die season financially, and didn’t do squat to improve the defense. Really worried about them.
DK: Manchester United. Harry Maguire is an important signing to shore up the defense, but they still needed upgrades and changes in other positions. Plus Paul Pogba is still there and if true that he’s unhappy, that won’t help the locker room come together.
JS: Chelsea – there will be a lot on Lampard’s plate.
Wolves, Everton, West Ham, Watford, and Leicester City will like their odds of clipping a “down” Top Six challenger. Who finishes highest, and how high?
JPW: Wolves will finish in the top six, and Leicester will finish seventh.
NM: It’s between Wolves and Everton. Since our crew is heavy on Wolves praise, I’ll choose the latter. Richarlison‘s third season in the PL met by a relentless midfield and plenty of attacking assets.
AE: This is the year West Ham get all their ducks in a row from the start of the season and mount a truly impressive season. Of course, many have said this before and rued the day.
KB: Wolves at 6 again, the other 3 right behind. Wolves have the least flaws of the 4, but they’re all strong.
DK: As of today, I think Wolves habr the best chance, with a handful of Portugal national team players and lots of fun, young talent. However, if Everton can sign WilfriedZaha and a couple of other late signings, they can certainly move into the top six.
JS: Wolves will finish fifth or higher, while Everton can crack within the Top 7.
How many goals and assists will Christian Pulisic collect for Chelsea in PL play?
JPW: 11 goals, 15 assists
NM: 7 goals and 12 assists
AE: 9 and 8.
KB: 12 goals 9 assists. Really high on CP this year.
DK: I think Pulisic can score 10 and create 10 assists. He looks very sharp early on and he’ll get plenty of playing time early in the season, if not all the way through. His speed is something that can’t be taught and he’s a stud in front of goal.
JS: Pulisic will wrap up his first season at Chelsea with 7 goals and 9 assists.
Predict your 2019-20 Premier League Best XI:
JPW: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Van Dijk, Robertson; Kante, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne; Salah, Kane, Sterling
There are 25 players in each Premier League squad, but who will not only star for their respective clubs but also elevate themselves to the upper echelons of the league this season? With the Premier League campaign officially set to begin this week, we continue our look ahead to the upcoming campaign with an overview of the top players at each position across the league.
The Belgian scored the opener 18 minutes in, cutting in on his left foot inside the box and punishing the opponent for not closing down. Later, he assisted Raheem Sterling’s 40th minute goal that put City 2-1 up just before halftime with a fabulous long-ball on the break that he timed perfectly to keep Sterling onside and yet allowed the England international to get behind the high defensive line.
Guardiola allowed his stars to get significant game time, seeing John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Rodri to complete the full 90 minutes while Sterling and Bernardo Silva played 82 minutes, de Bruyne and Oleksandr Zinchenko saw 75, Walker played 74, and Silva played an hour. 20-year-old Man City youth product Lukas Nmecha came on for the final 15 minutes and picked up a late goal, bundling home an Adrian Bernabe cross with the Yokohama defense somehow unable to reach the delivery.
City now returns home and gets set for the Community Shield against Liverpool on August 4, which is often seen as the starting gun for the new season. The club’s first Premier League fixture comes on against West Ham in London on August 10.