Manchester City 8-0 Watford: Bernardo Silva hits hat-trick in record rout

Bernardo Silva plundered a hat-trick as Manchester City scored five times in the opening 18 minutes against an insipid Watford side.

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva   -  Getty Images

Manchester City returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a stunning 8-0 triumph over sorry Watford to record its biggest ever top-flight victory at the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola's side slipped to a shock defeat at Norwich City last weekend but responded in spectacular fashion against the league's bottom side, racing into a five-goal lead inside 18 minutes.

David Silva got the side on its way after 52 seconds before a Sergio Aguero penalty and goals from Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Nicolas Otamendi put the game out of the sight before the midway point of the first half.

Bernardo Silva grabbed the first top-flight hat-trick of his career with goals in the 48th and 60th minutes before Kevin De Bruyne added an eighth five minutes from time.

 

The result moves City two points behind Liverpool at the Premier League's summit – though the Reds has a game in hand - while Watford remain rooted to the foot of the table with just two points from its opening six games.

City started in blistering fashion, taking the lead inside the opening minute when David Silva slotted home De Bruyne's wonderful cross from the right.

Ederson denied Gerard Deulofeu moments later before Ben Foster rashly brought down Mahrez in the penalty area, giving Aguero the opportunity to slam home his 100th Premier League goal at the Etihad Stadium from the resulting spot-kick.

City's third came after just 12 minutes when Mahrez's free-kick from the edge of the area beat Foster courtesy of a significant deflection off Tom Cleverley.

Bernardo Silva added a fourth just three minutes later, stooping to head home a corner from eight yards, while Otamendi made it five in the 18th minute, turning home Aguero's low cross at the back post.

City's intensity dropped a little after that devastating opening, although Aguero came close to registering a hat-trick before the interval, the Argentina international twice denied by the post.

The host wasted little time making it six after the restart, Bernardo Silva slotting past a helpless Foster from 10 yards after collecting David Silva's pass.

Aguero twice came close to adding a seventh before Bernardo Silva brought up his hat-trick on the hour mark, prodding home De Bruyne's cross from close range at the back post.

Mahrez then saw a header cannon back off the crossbar before De Bruyne capped a superb individual display with a rising drive from 16 yards that gave a beleaguered Foster no chance.

-Man City set top-flight win record with Watford thrashing-

With this comprehensive victory, Manchester City has a set a new top-flight record.

City led in the first minute when David Silva was set up by Kevin De Bruyne, with the champions maintaining their frantic early scoring pace to go 5-0 up inside 18 minutes.

That in itself was a Premier League record, but City could not quite manage to equal the competition’s biggest ever win, Manchester United's 9-0 defeat of Ipswich Town in 1995.

Bernardo Silva hit a hat-trick as City impressively bounced back from a shock loss at the hands of injury-hit Norwich City last time out in league action.

The emphatic result boosts its goal difference to +18 and moves it within two points of leader Liverpool, which is away to Chelsea on Sunday.

City also humiliated Watford in last season's FA Cup final, running out 6-0 winners with Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling each scoring a brace at Wembley.

What does it mean? Watford on the end of brutal backlash

Determined to return to winning ways after last weekend's surprise defeat to Norwich, poor Watford never stood a chance against Guardiola's men. A display of relentless efficiency moves IT two points behind Liverpool, which travels to Chelsea on Sunday well aware that the reigning champion is ready to pounce should it slip up.

Aguero hits another landmark

The 31-year-old has now scored in each of his six Premier League appearances this season as he brought up a century of league goals at home. His only disappointment will be that he failed to add more, twice hitting the upright in the first half.

Foster in accommodating mood

He was hardly helped by his woeful defence, but the Watford goalkeeper provided little resistance to City. He brought down Mahrez for Aguero's penalty and scarcely produced a save in what was a game he will hope to forget quickly.

Watford is scared of Manchester City, says Flores after record defeat

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores says his side are scared to play Manchester City after a bruising 8-0 defeat on Saturday. Watford was thumped 6-0 by City in last season's FA Cup final and Flores is concerned that his players take on the Premier League champion knowing it will suffer a heavy defeat.

"They have very bad memories playing against Manchester City," he told a news conference, in which he apologised on a number of occasions to the club's supporters. Before the game in the press conference one of you reminded me of the scores against City in the past years."

"It is like a prophecy that you are scared to play against Manchester City. Now we can try to forget them. We can think a lot about what happened in the match, but we lost in many ways. We conceded goals in many ways. It is our work as coaches to prepare much better for the next match."

After consecutive seasons out on loan with Strasbourg and Getafe respectively, Dimitri Foulquier was belatedly handed a Premier League debut against City. He was hauled off after just 36 minutes, though, with his side 5-0 down, and Flores concedes that early switch might not be easy to shrug off for the Guadeloupe international.

"It is difficult to know if he will be OK or not," Flores said. "The idea was probably wrong but we were waiting for the impact of Manchester City in the first 15 minutes. That's why we tried to protect [the defence] with this kind of player who can make you strong. We didn't have time to know if this idea was good or not because we conceded so early."

What's next?

Both sides are in EFL Cup action on Tuesday, with City travelling to Preston North End and Watford hosting Swansea City. Guardiola's side then visit Everton in the Premier League on Saturday, while the Hornets take on Wolves at Molineux on the same day.

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