Watford v City Review – Match Report
It wasn’t as smooth runnigng as some may have expected – so let’s take a deeper look at this Watford v Man City review.
As expected, Man City got off to a great start, but they had quite a nervy finish – proving that even as top dog, you can’t afford to sit back and take it easy. The big guns of the Premier League seemed to easily control the game and took the lead with a goal from Sane and then Mahrez. However, in the 85th minute, Doucoure managed to grab one back for Watfoord giving them hope that they might be able to snatch a point.
Watford harassed the Man City defence. Goalie, Ben Foster, got inundated with set pieces towards the end and Guardiola was forced into reinforcing his defense in order to hold on to the victory – which they did. This was their seventh successive win in the Premier League and they are topping the table.
Grabbing this victory saw them keep their place at the top, with closest rivals, Liverpool, playing the following day. This heaped the pressure on the scousers to maintain form in order to keep up. They crept up to a five-point lead but it is now back to a 2-point lead, with just one win separating the two.
The Better Side Won
Guardiola was clear in his post-match interview that City was the much better side and deserved the the win – but lacked the real killer instinct in the match. “It’s never over at 2-0, you need a third goal” he said, and that proved to almost be true. It certainly left a few squeaky bums at the end. In fact, Guardiola praised the opponents, stating that “In the last few minutes they had chances. For five minutes they were better than us.” Gracious indeed, and more than a little true.
This match certainly highlighted that no matter how good you are, you have to work to stay at the top; relax and you could fall down all too easily. Many players pulled out their best skills, but it was Riyad Mahrez that was named Man of the Match.
A Strong Squad
It’s a busy time for the Cityzens; this trip to Vicarage Road was the second out of thirteen matches that they have in forty four days. To conquer this, it’s vital that the entire squad is strong – allowing rotation whilst maintaining a competitive team. He did this at the weekend when he won over Bournemouth.
One of the star players, Aguero, was unable to play due to injury and top scorer, Sterling was rested. As well as this, he changed the back four – including Kyle Walker, John Stones and captain, Vincent Kompany. After a weekend break, Mahrez and Silva came back on Tuesday to heavily influence the outcome.
It was a beautiful swing cross from Mahrez in the 40th minute that was knocked in by Sane with his chest; then he finished off Gabriel Jesus’ cross; hitting the back of the net just six minutes after half-time – giving them their second, vital goal.
Held at Bay
However, both Sane and Mahrez could have scored more if it weren’t for the skill of goalie Foster, who held firm and produced some incredible saves. The Watford defence had a great day – Man City had around 70% of the play, but were still touch and go at the end.
Watford shook the blues after Kompany left the pitch through injury by scoring their only goal. Obviously this injury may cause some concern for the Mancunians in the coming weeks. It seemed that the second Kompany checked out, the defence looked a little shaky. However, we will see when Man City play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the weekend – a match that should be well worth the wait! The away squad is favourite with odds of 10/11 at Bet365; compared to the draw which is at 29/0 at Unibet and a home Chelsea win, priced at 3/1 at 888sport.
Watford Looking Good
Watford started off super well; however, they have recently suffered a little slump which wasn’t helped by the match against Man City. Their recent form is just two wins out of their last eleven games – after winning their first four games on the bounce.
Sadly, this is the first time that under manager Javi Gracia, they have lost three games in a row. Watford are now seeing their lowest ever points total in 15 games since returning to the Premier League four years ago. Having said that, they knew Man City would be a challenge and the defeat came as no surprise to anyone. However, there were certainly positives that Watford could take away from the game.
Watford certainly had a few decent chances, with Ederson saving a good attempt from Tro Deeney when it was 0-0. They also pushed well in the closing minutes of the game. They were never down and out, despite being up against the best team in the Premier League.
A Heroic Effort
Furthermore, Ben Foster proved himself to be a hero when up against Man City’s deadly strikers. Despite Man City dominating possession, the Watford defence held its own and kept them in the game. The Watford manager, Gracia, stated that he was very proud of his players for creating a lot of chances.He stated:
“Ben Foster was amazing; we showed very good spirit until the end, and in the last few minutes we had the option to get a better result… I am proud of my players. It is difficult to compete with this very good team. We showed character and desire.”
Watford take on Everton on Monday 10th December and will be looking for a better result this time. However, Watford are playing away and have been given odds of 4/1 at Bet365 – so the bookies aren’t so sure. They have placed the draw at 37/13 at Unibet and the Everton win at 4/5 at Betstars.