MANCHESTER (Reuters) – Manchester city issued the perfect response to their initial domestic loss since January by posting their biggest-ever Premier League win as a bewildered Watford could not cope with the relentless champions on Saturday.
Defensive mistakes cost city dear last weekend as newly-promoted Norwich city subjected Pep Guardiola’s men to their first league defeat since they were beaten 2-1 by Newcastle United almost eight months ago.
That result got City’s competitive fires burning as they won their final 14 league games to clinch a second successive Premier League title.
The champions were expected to fight back following last week’s defeat and Watford was powerless to stop a rampaging town.
City took just 52 seconds to get off the mark, with the superb Kevin De Bruyne unlocking Watford with a sublime pass for David Silva to break the deadlock.
Further goals from Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Nicolas Otamendi gave City a 5-0 lead in under 18 minutes — the fastest a team has scored five times in Premier League history.
Watford was forced to bring on an extra defender just once the half-hour mark. They got a brief reprieve till the forty-eighth minute however even afterwards sixth goal from Bernardo timber, City kept on punishing helpless Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster.
The city had twenty-eight shots at goal, 14 in each half.
After Bernardo timber had completed his hat-trick and American state Bruyne had added an eighth, City kept up the pressure as they chased Manchester United’s record victory margin in the Premier League — a 9-0 win over Ipswich town in 1995.
Riyad Mahrez and American state Bruyne both had good chances to get City’s ninth however within the finish they fell one short.
“What I like the most is normally when it’s 5-0 at interruption the last half isn’t serious,” Guardiola aforesaid. “It’s boring however we tend to do the alternative and that we were a lot of aggressive and created a sensible last half.
“The same feeling, I have now I had after Norwich so it was not a bad performance. We can lose the games but the important thing is that the approach and how we tend to react.”
The city could still finish the weekend 5 points behind leaders City, should the league leaders continue their 100% begin with triumph at Chelsea on Sunday.