Date: 21st May 2017 at 4:50pm
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Having eased past West Bromwich Albion in midweek, City arrived at Vicarage Road today safe in the knowledge that Champions League qualification and in particular finishing in third place in the Barclays Premier League, was in their own hands.

Three sensational goals at the Etihad on Tuesday laid down the marker that City were in no mood to simply creep into Europe`s elite competition as they did last season. Guardiola made only one change for this match reintroducing Clichy for Kolarov at left back, but the six-pronged attack was much in evidence. This line-up of course includes both Kun Aguero and Jesus and is designed to cause maximum discomfort to the opposition.

Therefore it was inevitable that City would get into the inexperienced Watford outfit from the start and early misdeed by Gomes almost set up Sane, then Aguero and then Jesus before it was blocked on the line by Holebas. It was perhaps even more inevitable that in the next attack, Fernadinho`s cross was diverted for a corner by rookie Mason. De Bruyne`s corner kick found Kompany on his own and his free header bulleted into the back of the net.

It was an early reward for City after the blue tidal wave spent the first five minutes looking more like a tsunami. Watford never really got a look in for fifteen minutes and on sixteen Jesus, in the clear, for some reason looked for Aguero rather than beating Gomes of his own accord. This was a bit disappointing as we would all have preferred the Brazilian youngster to plunder a goal for himself as the Hornets chased shadows.

It was to be hoped that City were not in the mood to try to see out a 1-0 win, especially as Arsenal scored early, too but then had Koscielny sent off, a straight red for a foul on Everton`s Valencia.

With 20 minutes on the board, De Bruyne again opened up Watford with a ball to Jesus who played it first time behind the defence to an unmarked Aguero, who shot straight into Gomes when a goal was an easier option. He made amends two minutes later when De Bruyne brought the ball out of defence, saw Aguero between two Watford defenders in the inside right slot, his favourite position and his easily slotted it past Gomes and just inside the far post. Was the day`s business done already?

City were impressive without really getting out of second gear and even if Watford did try to flood their penalty area, they would have needed sandbags to keep out City who really looked as though they were going to score every time they attacked and new-boy Mason took the law into his own hands by chopping down Jesus after the ball had gone. It didn`t take Jesus long to get his own back a few seconds later.

Watford simply couldn`t get anything going and reverted at the darker arts when Okaka elbowed Kompany. No card followed and Kompany had to change his shirt. Shortly thereafter Caballero played it out to Silva. He engaged Clichy on a give and go before the Magico slipped it into the path of Sane who first time pass behind the defence again found Aguero whose first time pass easily found the back of Gomes net. Three up in thirty five minutes and life was looking good at planet Etihad. By contrast, Sue was pacing up and down the hall offering an alternative view of Liverpool`s efforts against Middlesbrough.

As the break approached, City once again pressed home he advantage. Fernandinho was trying to play a series of one-twos with Jesus, Mason once again tried his black book tactics, the final pass finding Fernandinho who toe-poked it into the net. The job really was done.

Sue was by now going into Banshee mode as Wijnaldum had put her boys ahead and maybe sentenced Arsene Wenger to the door or at least a new type of regime at the Emirates.

So half-time arrived with City 4-0 to the good and displaying what they should have done all season – putting the lesser lights of the division to the mighty sword..in style. It was no disrespect to Watford that they could not live with City in the first half. Guardiola`s men were in breathtaking form, doing their business playing incredible football and scoring quality goals. Only forty five more minutes left in City`s season and there was evidence of “typical City” in sight. No more leaving things until the dying embers to secure their requirements, the Blues were simply irresistible.


Watford were however fist to show in the second half as Okaka darted between Yaya and Fernandinho down City`s right, forcing the first save of the afternoon from Caballero and the first corner of the afternoon for the Hornets. Kompany extolled his value at the defensive end of the pitch as the danger subsided.

Guardiola did not want to see his team settle for 4-0 and was disappointed to see their first effort of the second half come to nothing. Conversely at Anfield, Liverpool`s first effort, from Coutinho went in leaving Sue skipping around the lounge with her “Coutinho Bear”. The doom and gloom was now where it belongs, hovering around the Emirates where 10-man Arsenal were easily beating the Blue Noses of Everton who had no doubt rolled over for the Gooners in the hope of assisting them get in front of Liverpool. But Champions League football was slipping away from the Emirates just as it had when they were double-whacked by Bayern Munchen.

Meanwhile not much was happening at Vicarage Road. City were in “easy” mode as another error by Fernandinho almost let in Watford, again down City`s right, but the resulting corner saw Mason once again deploying the darker arts and it was a free kick to City.

City`s play however was starting to become a bit untidy. Passes that in the first half found the boot laces of their players were suddenly behind or too far in front. It was typified when Silva found Sane whose first time ball once again behind the defence, once again found Aguero open and staring at an empty net. Sergio took his eye of the ball and squirted it wide.

Seconds later though Aguero sprinted down the right. Sane took away the markers as the Mighty Atom played in Jesus who finally bundled home number 5. This was signal for Troy Deeney to come on to see if he could make a difference.

Across the country, Lallana had calmed Sue`s nerves making it 3-0 at Anfield and Lukaku woke up at the Emirates to make it 2-1 to the Arsenal.

In the sunnier climes of Hertfordshire, City were once again getting in the mood with more or less everyone wanting to get in on the scoring act. Guardiola however chose that moment to bring on Sagna and Navas, probably as a gesture for the out of contract players. Yaya and Sane made way.

Aguero could once again have gained his hat trick, getting again between defenders and his blistering shot was well saved by Gomes. Jesus had now transferred to the left to accommodate Navas on the right as City played calypso football. They did look however to be keeping their discipline in their search for additional goals. Aguero should have got another one after 66 minutes when once again, Gomes made a decent save to deny him. In truth Sergio could by now have been taking two balls home. This latest effort left Gomes needing treatment after his own man stood on him and Costel Pantilimon started to go through his warm up.

Finally Pep put up Aguero`s number and Iheanacho was allowed to enter the fray. The fans gave him a fantastic ovation, which we sincerely hope will not have been his last as this new role Pep has found for him has seen him re-invent himself and in the same process easier pathways to the back of net.

Watford applied some pressure at the 70 minute mark with a couple of corners, one of which should have produced a goal when Caballero dropped the cross. For once Clichy was on hand to keep the effort out. The urgency had gone from City`s play now and it very much looked as though they would not advance from five goals. Fernandinho now moved into midfield is not the presence that is Yaya Toure and the man that has been the rock of the midfield since his reintroduction this year was visibly missed as the minutes ticked away. Watford were still searching for some kind of joy but Otamendi, looking a different footballer these days alongside Kompany, was active in keeping them at bay.

De Bruyne was demonstrating his masterclass. Today his passing was excellent and his “if you can`t score them set them up” mentality came very much to the fore today. He played very much in straight lines today, forcing Watford to make unpopular decisions and their back three to leave to much room for Silva, De Bruyne and Aguero to ply their trade. Sane and Jesus simply had too much pace for any permutation Watford had to offer. But with Yaya and Aguero off the field a certain element of spark had left with them. Along with that the goal threat looked considerably weaker, although Okaka did not like Jesus doing a bit of show-boating and simply carted him.

De Bruyne was ceasing to have the same impact and what should have been a routine pass to set Iheanacho free only found Behrami, who returned it to De Bruyne who then returned it to Behrami. Untidy stuff which had it been Aguero, would have earned KDB and ear-bashing. City were now winding down the clock. They were under no threat and were not really creating any. And they paved their way to another easy victory.

Blue Moon was ringing around the away end together with the plethora of Zabaleta songs even though the Lion of Argentina was not on duty today. It is no secret that after his fantastic send-off from the Etihad on Tuesday, his future now probably lies in London, at West Ham. Sagna, Navas, Nolito and possibly Kolarov looks as though the exit chute beckons them but I hope that we are not seeing the finalisation of Aguero and Yaya`s careers with City. Yaya still has much to offer at this level and Aguero in recent weeks has demonstrated an attitude for change and has shown us that he can play in Guardiola`s system, arriving from a deeper position and finding the spaces denied him in recent seasons.

Vincent Kompany must also be retained. His performances since he returned from his devastating series of injuries have been excellent and we all hope that we can look forward to more next season.

Champions League football is in the bag for next season as the curtain closes on this one. The Pedmachine is signing off for a while, but I`ll be back in print once the fixtures are announced in a few weeks. Enjoy your summer, dear readers.

 

One Reply to “The Ped Report Watford 0-5 City”

  • Thanks Ped, I’ve enjoyed reading your summary after every game and am already looking forward to next season.

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