Manchester City became the first ever men’s team to win all three domestic trophies as they crushed Watford 6-0 at Wembley to claim the FA Cup for the first time since 2011. Goals from David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne were added to a brace each by Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling as City equalled the record result for an FA Cup Final.
After winning the Premier League title in some style at Brighton last weekend, Watford ere expected to be a tough, final test for the blues, although City still went into the match as favourites. Going into the match, the blues were unbeaten in sixteen matches against The Hornets, winning the last 11 matches with an aggregate score of 38-6. In fact, it is 30 years since Watford last beat the blues; a 1-0 win at Vicarage in March 1989.
But despite their excellent record against the Hornets, there were memories of the final against Wigan in 2013, when against all odds, the Latics held the blues until the final minute, when Wigan scored a last minute winner to claim the cup for the first time in their history.
And those fears of an upset increased as a misplaced pass allowed Watford to make a quick counter attack, which ended with Ederson blocking with his leg to prevent Roberto Pereyra from opening the scoring. Watford appealed for a penalty when Abdoulaye Doucoure’s shot hit Vincent Kompany on the shoulder. The decision was never in any real doubt as Kompany had his arm tucked in and was turning away from the ball, but that didn’t stop the appeals.
It turned out to be Watford’s best and only real chance in the match as City took control. The blues won the ball in midfield and David Silva’s header found Raheem Sterling, whose header back to Silva was converted by the Spaniard to give the blues the lead after 26 minutes.
City continued to push, exerting their dominance and it was no surprise when their lead was doubled seven minutes before half time, when Gabriel Jesus converted from close range. Raheem Sterling hammered the ball into the net, just to make sure, but replays showed the ball was over the line before the England man touched it, however the debate is still out on that one.
The blues went in 2-0 up at the break and there were fears it could get worse for Watford in the second half. And those fears were soon realised.
Jesus had a second goal correctly rules out for offside and Watford pressed to try and get themselves back in the game. In the semi-final, they had come back from 2-0 down to beat Wolves 3-2, but the introduction of Kevin de Bruyne for the impressive Riyad Mahrez put paid to any chance of a comeback.
Jesus released the Belgian, who calmly rounded the keeper and slotted home to make it 3-0 on 61 minutes. Seven minutes later, the two combined again, with de Bruyne turning provider for Jesus to run clear and pass the ball under the Watford keeper for 4-0.
With nine minutes remaining and the trophy safely coming to Manchester, City went in search of records, and they took a step closer when Raheem Sterling slammed home the fifth, following brilliant work from Bernardo Silva. The England man made it 6-0 when his shot rebounded off the post and back into his path, and it was simple tap in for the winger.
There was still time for City to beat Bury’s 6-0 victory over Derby in 1903 when Sterling set up substitute John Stones in the final minute, but his well placed shot as saved by keeper Gomez. It mattered not as the blues claimed the first ever domestic treble, and throw in the Community Shield in August, it means City have won four trophies in one season.