Raheem sterling shines again as Manchester City thrash watford 3 – 1
The England international netted after only 39 seconds, before a Christian Kabasele own goal and a second-half finish from Sergio Aguero saw Pep Guardiola’s side move 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League, with Andre Gray’s late effort counting for little.
City’s record 18-game winning run came to an end in a goalless draw at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve and Guardiola took no chances with his line-up, with Kevin De Bruyne – passed fit after being hurt at Selhurst Park – joined by the returning David Silva in midfield, while John Stones made his first appearance since November at the heart of the defence.
Watford were looking for a response to their dramatic defeat to Swansea City but some slack defending in the first minute saw them fall behind and they rarely threatened a comeback from then on.
Kabesele’s unfortunate own goal sapped the morale from the visitors, who have now lost six of their last seven league games, and the encounter turned into little more than a training exercise for the home side, with Aguero scoring his 13th top-flight goal of the season midway through the second half before Gray’s consolation.
The result means Chelsea must beat Arsenal on Wednesday if they are to cut the gap to City to 14 points, while Watford, though in 10th place, are only five points above the relegation zone thanks to West Ham’s win over West Brom.