The last time Manchester City travelled to Watford was July 2020. The country was still gripped by the Coronavirus pandemic, and the disrupted season was finally coming to an end. After losing 2-0 to Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final, City arrived at Vicarage Road, determined to end a miserable season on a high.
The home side needed the three points to keep Bournemouth and Aston Villa from sending them into the relegation zone, and to make matters worse, the Hornets had just sacked their manager with two games to go. Meanwhile, the blues had already secured second place in the Premier League table but weren’t in any mood to provide Watford with any special treatment.
City dominated from start to finish, allowing the home side just two shots on goal throughout the entire match, and the only surprise was that it wasn’t a repeat of the 8-0 thrashing City had dished out to the Hornets earlier in the season.
Raheem Sterling gave City the lead in the 31st minute as City built another attack. Phil Foden’s cross from the left evaded everyone, but it was picked up by Kyle Walker on the right. His ball not the box fell to an unmarked Sterling, and the England man controlled the ball and fired past Ben Foster into the top corner.
Nine minutes later City were awarded a penalty when Sterling was fouled in the area. Foden broke up a Watford counter attack inside the Hornet’s half and played in Sterling. The winger tricked his way into the box and was tripped, leaving the referee with little option but to point to the spot.
Sterling took the spot kick himself, and placed it high to the keeper’s right, but Foster made a remarkable save to keep the ball out. Unluckily for the keeper, the ball rebounded back to Sterling who wasn’t going to miss from inside the six-yard box.
City continued to press in the second half and Sterling was denied a hat-trick by Foster, but Foden was there to tap home the rebound to make it 3-0. It was Kevin de Bruyne that started the move, playing in the England man and when his shot was parried by the keeper, Foden was on hand to knock the ball into an empty net.
Three minutes later, the blues completed the scoring. De Bruyne’s in swinging free kick was met by the head of Aymeric Laporte, and the defender’s powerful header flew past Foster to make it 4-0.
The result consolidated City’s second place, but, following Villa’s win over Arsenal, Watford were dragged into the relegation zone on goal difference, a battle they would ultimately lose.
Final score: Watford 0-4 Manchester City