Manchester City emphatically blew away Watford by recording their biggest ever win in the Premier League, with Bernardo Silva scoring a hat trick.
Having already beaten Watford by six goals in last season’s FA Cup final, City took no time in asserting their dominance, scoring five goals within the first 18 minutes to blow away the memories of last week’s surprise defeat to Norwich. David Silva gave them the lead within the opening minute, before a penalty gave Sergio Aguero the chance to double their advantage – which he successfully did.
In between those goals, Gerard Deulofeu wasted a good opportunity to equalise for Watford, and after Aguero’s spot kick – which brought up his 100th goal at the Etihad Stadium – things went from bad to worse for Quique Sanchez Flores in his first away game since returning as manager.
The player who had won the penalty, Riyad Mahrez’s free kick was followed up by the first of three from Bernardo Silva, before Nicolas Otamendi provided a goal from a less likely source to make it 5-0 before 20 minutes had even been played. It was the quickest any side has ever reached a five-goal lead in Premier League history.
Watford had to change something, and debutant Dimitri Foulquier was the unlucky player to be withdrawn after just 33 minutes. However, the substitution did little to change the Hornets’ fortunes, with any thoughts of a comeback already long gone.
The last chance of the half unsurprisingly fell to City, with Aguero hitting the post to see his side go in with just the five-goal advantage.
Just like they had started the first half, City began after the break in rampant fashion, with Bernardo Silva getting his second – before completing his first ever Premier League hat trick on the hour mark.
Mahrez hit the bar with City needing just one more goal to better their biggest ever Premier League win (a 7-0 victory over Norwich in their title-winning 2013-14 campaign), and two more to match the all-time record for any team, and Kevin De Bruyne ensured they ticked off the first task on that list on 85 minutes.
The powerful strike was well-deserved for the Belgian, who had already provided the assists for David Silva’s opener and Bernardo Silva’s hat-trick goal.
However, De Bruyne missed a golden chance for a brace shortly after, meaning they fell just short of matching the 9-0 scoreline that rivals Manchester United recorded against Ipswich in 1995.