Quique Sanchez Flores felt it was impossible to explain Watford’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City as the Hornets believed they could beat the Citizens – unlike in August’s defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

The Hornets took the lead ten minutes into the second half at Vicarage Road when a Ben Watson corner to the near post was touched beyond Joe Hart by City defender Aleksandar Kolarov.

It looked as though Watford would hold out for another famous win. However, two goals in as many minutes from Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero handed the visitors all three points late on.

It was a bitter pill for the Hornets to swallow and Flores was at a loss to explain how his side hadn’t taken something from the contest.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “I have in my head the replays but the first goal was difficult to score so it was an amazing goal.

“The second goal we didn’t mark (Sergio) Aguero. It’s very difficult to say anything to the players.

“We have to try to improve and take a little bit more care with the details. Today it’s impossible to explain how we lost that match but I will try to take the positives.”

The game was a stark contrast to the Golden Boys’ trip to the Etihad Stadium in August.

On that occasion goals from Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho settled the contest after the break with the Hornets failing to test City keeper Hart.

Flores noted the difference between the two matches and said: “If you compare this to the match we played against Manchester City four months ago it’s completely different.

“Then we played against Manchester City like a small team trying to adapt to the league, trying to avoid kicks from the big teams and conceding a lot of goals.

“Today we wanted to win from the beginning. We believed we could win and finally, at the last moment, we had the opportunity to do that.

“I’m so sorry for the fans. The players’ performance was amazing.

“We want to win. For us it’s not enough to be competitive – we want to win. It’s not enough to be in the middle of the Premier League. We have a lot of reasons to be happy but today we are sad because we want more.”

City equalised from a corner kick as Toure found the space to lash beyond Heurelho Gomes at his near post.

The winner came when Aguero was left unmarked to nod home, Craig Cathcart guilty of switching off from Bacary Sagna's cross.

But Flores refused to pin any blame on his defenders for the two goals.

He said: “The defensive work of the team was amazing.

“It was completely amazing against Chelsea but we conceded two. It was amazing against Tottenham but we conceded two. It was amazing today but we conceded two.

“We’ve conceded two goals from set pieces in three games – against Chelsea and today.

"Two of the goals were offside and everybody knows that, so I can say nothing [bad] about the defensive line.

"I had a talk with the defensive line and said: ‘Don’t change; don’t be afraid.’

“The linesman can make mistakes but if we change the way we work it’s worse because we are defending well this way.

“We’re not afraid to hold the line and have players behind us offside because normally the referees make really good decisions.”

After three games in a week the Spaniard wouldn’t entertain the notion his side might have been tired either.

“I feel really good about the team physically – including today,” he stated.

“Manchester City are not just good in terms of playing football, they’re good in terms of the physical quality of the players.

“I didn’t feel there was a difference physically between the players of Watford and Manchester City which means we are working well in a physical way.”