MX23RW : Saturday, April 20 01:47:56| >> :600:3262600:3262600:
Mar 9, 2019 at 5.30pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 54,104
Man CityManchester City
Sterling (46', 50', 59')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Deulofeu (66')

Live Commentary: Manchester City 3-1 Watford - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Raheem Sterling nets a hat-trick in Manchester City's 3-1 win over Watford in Saturday's Premier League game.
Live Commentary: Man City 3-1 Watford - as it happened
© Reuters

Manchester City have recorded a 3-1 victory over Watford in Saturday's Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Raheem Sterling put City ahead shortly after the restart - albeit in controversial circumstances - and the winger added two more to complete his hat-trick before the hour mark.

Gerard Deulofeu netted a consolation for Watford shortly after being introduced as a substitute, but Watford never threatened an unlikely comeback.

Find out how all of the action unfolded in the North-West courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Premier League between Manchester City and Watford. City are looking to move four points clear at the top of the table, while a point will be enough for Watford to move into seventh position. The two teams are making their way out onto the pitch at the Etihad Stadium, so let's see who features in each starting lineup...

MANCHESTER CITY XI: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Zinchenko; Bernardo Silva, Gundogan, David Silva; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling

WATFORD XI: Foster; Janmaat, Britos, Kabasele, Mesina; Feminia, Capoue, Doucoure, Cleverley; Gray, Success

KICKOFF:  City get us underway.

Watford have made seven changes for this game, and City have already set about taking advantage of that. The home side have dominated the opening few minutes.

YELLOW CARD!  That said, Watford also look lively on the counter and Walker is booked for a scissor challenge on Success.

That counter from Watford has at least made City realise that this game will not be one-sided if they approach it the wrong way. The home side have the ball back, and are probing away.

CHANCE!  That probing leads to Mahrez sending an inswinging cross in for David Silva, but the Spaniard can only send his glancing header wide of the far post.

Again, Watford show ambition going forward with Gray getting in behind the City defence, but the forward's cutback is deflected into the grateful hands of Ederson.

City are back in the ascendancy, but no more chances have been created by the home side. Guardiola's men are yet to really force the pace.

The home supporters also feel relaxed, despite their team not keeping the pressure on Watford. It is still early days of course, but there is no intensity to this match.

Better from City as David Silva gets down the left-hand side of the penalty area, but the midfielder's strike is straight at Foster.

YELLOW CARD!  Cleverley is the second player to be booked having committed a foul on the edge of the penalty area. Nothing comes from the resulting free kick.

City revert back to taking their time on the edge of the area, but they have at least increased the pressure on the visitors.

Most of the threat is coming down the left. A low cross from Zinchenko is intended for Aguero at the back post, but Foster tips the pass wide of the post.

Watford have already started with the time-wasting, and it has resulted in boos from the crowd. Don't be surprised to see a Hornets man cautioned before too long.

The game has started to open up a bit more. Watford are asking questions of City when they break forward and they are targeting Walker, who is on a yellow card.

CHANCE!  City should be ahead. Bernardo Silva's inswinging cross from the right is perfect for Aguero who is waiting at the back post, but the Argentine somehow heads wide from six yards out.

Sterling gets in behind the Watford backline and appears to have the pace to advance into the penalty area, but Janmaat gets back to make a superb sliding challenge on the winger as he tries to get a shot away.

City are forcing Watford back onto their own 18-yard line, and you get the feeling that this spell of pressure could pay off.

Watford are back to wasting as much time as they possibly can from goal kicks and throw ins. It will surely lead to a caution sooner rather than later. Just the 10 minutes to go before the break.

City are still probing away, but an opening goal doesn't seem imminent. In all fairness to Watford, they have played this perfectly so far.

The goalkeepers have just played two direct passes to each other, which takes some doing! Watford will be more satisfied than Guardiola watching on the sidelines.

You can feel the frustration building at the Etihad Stadium, and the referee's failure to give the home side a corner for a deflection off Feminia does not help matters.

There has been a bit more urgency from City over the past couple of minutes. I don't think that it will be enough to satisfy Guardiola, however.

There will be one minute of added-on time.

CHANCE!  An opening is created for Aguero on the left-hand side of the penalty area, but his shot towards the near post is parried wide by Foster.

CHANCE!  Watford partially clear the resulting corner to Mahrez on the edge of the area, and the Algerian sends a half-volley flashing wide of the post from 20 yards out.

HALF TIME:  Manchester City 0-0 Watford

The half-time whistle goes at the Etihad Stadium and we remain goalless. City dominated for much of that first half, but they have lacked their usual level of intensity. Watford haven't had a shot, but Gracia will be delighted with his side so far.

A quick look at the two benches...

MANCHESTER CITY: Muric, Danilo, Laporte, Delph, Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Foden

WATFORD: Gomes, Deulofeu, Deeney, Sema, Cathcart, Quina, Holebas

KICKOFF:  Watford get us back underway.

GOAL!  Manchester City 1-0 Watford (Raheem Sterling)

GOAL!  City lead, but it is an outrageously bad decision. Aguero diverts the ball into the path of Sterling - who is offside - and the goal is initially chalked off. However, after lengthy discussions, the goal is given. It has been perceived that Janmaat getting a touch to the ball and playing it onto Sterling has resulted in the winger becoming onside. The winger had no control over the shot but it looped over Foster and went into the far corner.

GOAL!  Manchester City 2-0 Watford (Raheem Sterling)

GOAL!  City now score a second and it is probably game over. A ball is played through the defence for Mahrez to cross from the byline, and Sterling is on hand to convert at the back post. Watford have every reason to feel hard done by here.

The home side are naturally going in search of a third. They realise that they can finish this game now if they net another, but Watford are holding out for now.

Watford have about seven players within 20 yards of their own goal. It tells you everything about City's dominance right now.

The visitors are offering very little right now. There are no signs of pressing City. It is as if they are simply trying to keep the score down.

GOAL!  Manchester City 3-0 Watford (Raheem Sterling)

GOAL!  Game over. David Silva threads a ball through to the advancing Sterling, who cuts inside and gets past two defenders before clipping a shot over Foster from close range for his hat-trick. So easy.

Guardiola is going to react to that third goal by making alterations with Schalke 04 to come in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

That change will take place once City relinquish the ball. It's a training exercise for the home side right now.

SUBSTITUTION! Sterling is the first player to make way with Sane being introduced in his place.

SUBSTITUTIONS! Gracia follows suit by making two changes of his own, with Deulofeu and Deeney replacing Feminia and Success.

GOAL!  Manchester City 3-1 Watford (Gerard Deulofeu)

GOAL!  WOW! Immediately after the substitution, a long free kick from Foster is headed on by Deeney, and Deulofeu reacts fastest to fire past Ederson from 10 yards out! Game on!

Watford have something to play with now, but it has only resulted in City refocusing on seeing this game out.

It's absolutely lashing it down in Manchester. It's the kind of weather where players will no doubt try their luck from distance, hoping for a mistake from a goalkeeper.

Watford have been much improved since the introduction of Deulofeu and Deeney. It makes you wonder why Gracia waited so long to send on the pair.

The Hornets make some more headway in the City half, but the home side look ready to launch counter-attacks as soon as they regain possession of the ball.

SHOT!  City get down the left-hand side of the area and Aguero has the chance to get a shot away from an acute angle, but his effort was only ever going to go straight at Foster.

CHANCE!  The home side have woken up. Mahrez threads a pass through to Bernardo Silva, whose dinked effort is blocked by Foster. Sane then has a chance on the other side of the area, but the German shoots wide of the near post.

SUBSTITUTION! City make a second change with Gabriel Jesus replacing Aguero.

SUBSTITUTION! Watford's final alteration sees Cathcart take the place of Britos.

I haven't ruled Watford out of this game just yet, but City look like they are toying with their opponents.

CHANCE!  Nearly a fourth for City. Gundogan's inswinging corner finds Otamendi at the back post, but the defender can only head wide of the post under pressure from a defender.

SHOT!  City are still pushing forward, but this match is as good as over now. Gundogan fires harmlessly over from distance.

SUBSTITUTION! A final City alteration sees Foden replace Mahrez.

There will be four minutes of added-on time.

Watford win a late free kick, but Deulofeu sees his strike hit the wall and go behind for a corner.

FULL TIME:  Manchester City 3-1 Watford

The full-time whistle goes at the Etihad Stadium and City have recorded a 3-1 win thanks to Sterling's hat-trick. The first goal came in controversial circumstances, but the home side deserve their victory.

That will be all from Sports Mole for this game. Thank you for joining us this evening and we hope to see you again soon. If you would to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.

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