Manchester City's dream start to the 2015/16 Premier League season continued with a 2-0 win over Watford at the Etihad. And while several other elite Premier League squads deal with questions, City continues to look above all of the turmoil that the world's most competitive league can bring. Here are five thoughts from the win over Watford, the team's fourth win in as many opportunities.
1. Goin' Bac To Bac
With Pablo Zabaleta continuing to miss time due to injury, Bacary Sagna has had to fill the shoes of a beloved player for City. Not only has he done so with aplomb, but he may be an upgrade over the team's usual right back.
Sagna has been great in the team's attack, moving forward to whip dangerous balls into the opponents' penalty area when necessary, as he did to set up Raheem Sterling's first goal as a blue on Saturday. That pass was flawless, sent to where only Sterling could get it, and encapsulated just what kind of contributions Sagna has been making offensively.
Defensively, Sagna has done a great job of getting back after making his forward movements, something Zabaleta isn't always able to do. Despite the small sample size, Sagna has been brilliant at right back so far this season, and Zabaleta will need to earn his place upon his return.
2. Pellegrini Pulls The Right Strings
Often criticized for being stubborn and unwilling to make tactical changes to his team last season, Manuel Pellegrini has been the puppet master behind City's perfect start. His move to a 4-2-3-1 formation has let City's holding midfielders do what they do best, and their attacking midfielders assault opposing defense without a care in the world.
He has also been willing to make substitutions with some foresight, rather than waiting until the 80th minute to alter an ineffective lineup. That willingness to make changes was on display on Saturday, as he removed the underwhelming Jesus Navas for Samir Nasri after a half, which paid dividends. He will have more players to juggle thanks to City's latest signing, but supporters should have faith in the Chilean to make the right moves.
City have scored ten goals and have conceded zero through four games, and have looked very comfortable in each of their matches. And despite him playing for a few minutes at the end of City's victory over Watford, there's a growing group wanting to see Kelechi Iheanacho get more time toward the end of games.
As a young player, Iheanacho can get valuable experience at the end of these games, something that has the potential to come in handy looking ahead to the portion of the schedule in which City have cup and continental competitions to juggle. Hopefully he gets more time after the international break so season him for potential cup runs.
4. Big Test After The Break
While it may not sound like the most daunting task, a matchup at Crystal Palace after the international break may be the biggest test so far for City. Palace has been in great form through the first four games, and were the better side in their win over Chelsea this weekend. City will need to hope for good health and to get back into the proper frame of mind ahead of this battle of the top two teams in the Premier League to this point in the season.
5. De Bruyne Beckons
A flawless start has surely bred some solid chemistry for City, but it will be interesting to see how the additional of Kevin De Bruyne will impact that. Manuel Pellegrini will have to juggle another player in his crowded midfield, which has the potential to upset one or more current members of the team. Hopefully the manager can make it work without any discord arising in the squad to keep things going smoothly.
It's been a perfect start for City as other teams have faltered. Give us your thoughts below.