Dublin: 13°C Friday 27 May 2022
Advertisement

Raheem Sterling scores 14-minute hat-trick as Man City beat Watford to extend lead at the top

The winger was in inspired form at the Etihad as Pep Guardiola’s side extended their lead to four points.

The Man City forward scored three goals in the second half.
The Man City forward scored three goals in the second half.
Image: Dave Thompson

RAHEEM STERLING’S QUICKFIRE second-half hat-trick pulled apart a stubborn Watford resistance as Manchester City went four points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 victory.

Javi Gracia made seven changes to his Watford XI but the visitors proved miserly opponents as they frustrated Pep Guardiola’s defending champions during the opening 45 minutes.

The opening goal came within a minute of the restart and amid considerable offside controversy.

Sterling pounced with Watford still reeling, netting from close range in the 50th minute and completed his treble before the hour.

Watford substitute Gerard Deulofeu reduced the deficit midway through the second half – something Liverpool must now do when they host Burnley at Anfield on Sunday.

City were forced to be patient when confronted by a heavily manned defence, although Sergio Aguero should have done better when he powered wide from Bernardo Silva’s 29th-minute delivery.

Manchester City v Watford - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Sterling battles Daryl Janmaat's for possession at the Etihad on Saturday. Source: Dave Thompson

Daryl Janmaat completed a brilliant last-ditch tackle on Sterling and those two were involved in the game’s most contentious and pivotal moment.

Following prolonged discussions between the match officials, the goal was awarded despite Sterling being in an offside position when Aguero touched the ball into his path, because Janmaat played it against the England winger’s shin for the ricochet into the net.

There were no qualms when David Silva and Mahrez sliced their way down Watford’s left channel and Sterling tapped in the former Leicester City man’s cross.

David Silva slid Sterling through to cut inside Janmaat and Christian Kabasele to complete his hat-trick and he received a rapturous reception when he made way for Leroy Sane shortly afterwards.

Gracia’s changes proved more impactful, though, as Troy Deeney and Deulofeu were introduced, the pair combining with their first touches to score 21 second later – the goal offering a tantalising glimpse of what a more expansive Watford might have been able to accomplish.

Andy Dunne joins Murray Kinsella and Ryan Bailey to discuss Joe Schmidt’s undroppables and how France might attack Ireland’s predictability in The42 Rugby Weekly.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here:

About the author:

The42 Team

Read next:

COMMENTS (5)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel