Raheem Sterling took his season tally to 29 goals in all competitions as Manchester City earn a 4-0 victory at Watford, heightening the relegation fears of a team in turmoil.
After the surprise sacking of manager, Nigel Pearson with two just games of the season left, caretaker Watford manager Hayden Mullins knew that victory over a City side with little to play for would put Watford on the verge of survival, but an arrowing strike from Sterling in the 29th minute left Watford feeling the writing was on the wall.
Sterling’s quick feet were too much for Will Hughes five minutes before the interval, as the England forward won a penalty which he got up to take. Ben Foster brilliantly denied Sterling from the spot, but the England forward was on hand to tap home the rebound.
Goals from Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte took the aggregate score between these two to 18-0 in City’s favour in the last three games, with those further goals conceded causing concern for Watford with now-17th-placed Aston Villa beating Arsenal in Tuesday’s late game.
Two days after Nigel Pearson was sensationally sacked, Watford were forced to take on a team they had been beaten 8-0 by already this season, and right form the off, it seemed that City, who gave Foden a start, would control the match.
Kyle Walker’s cross that created the opening for Sterling was only a speculative one, but there was nothing speculative about the finish from Sterling as he hammered home the opener.
Sterling took his tally against Watford to seven since the start of the 2017/18 season after Foster had brilliantly kept his penalty out. It really was a fine stop, and deserved one of his defenders to be helping him out.
Twenty seconds into the second half Foster was forced into action again to deny Jesus, and Watford were fearing another hammering at the hands of City, and sure enough, Foden converted the rebound after Foster had denied Sterling a hat-trick, before Laporte headed a fourth to make it 12 goals in one season for City against Watford, with goal difference a potential deciding factor in who stays up this season.