On the surface, a 2-0 defeat at a Manchester City side under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, and with an abundance of riches throughout the side, might not be seen as a bad night's work.

There were murmurs from some quarters at the Etihad Stadium last night that it was an acceptable way to lose to the Premier League's fourth-placed side.

But this City team had not won a home league game for three months, were battered by a poor Leicester team on Saturday and could not play out from the back if their lives depended on it.

With that in mind, and the absence of star striker Sergio Aguero, this was an opportunity for the Hornets to earn an unlikely result - and they blew it.

A bizarre team selection put them in trouble from the off, with full debutant Jerome Sinclair a total passenger on the night, and the physicality of Troy Deeney sadly missing because of the notion he could miss Saturday's game at Sunderland were he booked.

Walter Mazzarri waved the white flag before the game had even begun, and while some second-half tinkering to their gameplan might have earned them a draw, they deserved precisely what they got, despite the Italian's post-match comments.

Here's how we rated a frankly boring Watford performance in the north west:

Heurelho Gomes - 6
Not much he could do about either goal, but is there another Premier League keeper (except maybe Loris Karius) who struggles so badly to catch a ball? Made a couple of good saves in either half.

Daryl Janmaat - 6
Watford didn't look comfortable on their right flank all night, and he let Kevin de Bruyne drift out wide to cross unmarked for the hosts' opener. Quiet in possession too.

Watford Observer:

Sebastian Prodl - 6
Booked for a silly challenge on David Silva in the first half, and not his normal self. Some static defending alongside Miguel Britos at times. Caught out for second goal but may have been a foul.

Miguel Britos - 6
The Uruguayan put in one of his better performances in a Watford shirt this season, and kept Raheem Sterling at bay a number of times before the break. Culpable with Prodl at times but more dependable than we've seen him.

Jose Holebas - 7
Pick of the defence for a wonderful tackle on Nolito which may well have prevented the hosts taking a 2-0 lead far earlier than they did. Elsewhere though, should have tracked Pablo Zabaleta for the opener. Another great set-piece delivery for Etienne Capoue's headed chance in the second half.

Watford Observer:

Adlene Guedioura - 5
It's a struggle to remember anything of note the Algerian midfielder contributed. He and Capoue sat far too deep in the first half - every time the ball was cleared, it was straight back into City hands without any kind of midfield outlet. Put in some really poor corners, too.

Etienne Capoue - 6
Marked up one from his central-midfield colleague for a decent effort after the break which could have seen the visitors level from Jose Holebas' free-kick. Got his initial header all wrong, though, and generally did little to influence the game.

Roberto Pereyra - 7
Only on for the opening half-hour but looked far busier than we've seen him in recent games, although his refusal to compete in the air, as he could have for an early cross at the far post, is odd. Unlucky to be removed so early and hopefully will be back soon.

Nordin Amrabat - 6
One superb cross which found Odion Ighalo and should have seen them level, but quiet overall on the night. Made a great sprint and tackle on Raheem Sterling and will always give 100 per cent, but wasn't particularly effective.

Watford Observer:

Odion Ighalo - 6
Worked hard but sometimes tried to do it all on his own; showed his intent by trying to get past five Man City players early on - and to his credit, he managed three. Really should have at least tested Claudio Bravo late on.

Jerome Sinclair - 4
We feel harsh putting this rating in, because this wasn't the game for the ex-Liverpool youngster to get thrown in at the deep end. Hopefully hasn't seen his confidence done too much harm, because he touched the ball only 11 times all night and was utterly anonymous.

Camilo Zuniga (for Pereyra, 30) - 6
Mr Versatile, a name he may be tired of already. Did a job in central midfield and then at right-back, dependable without pulling up any trees - or getting caught out too badly.

Isaac Success (for Janmaat, 60) - 6
Started well and was his normal self on the Watford left for a period, before becoming less effective as the game went on. Didn't get close enough to the box to show us his best assets.

Troy Deeney (for Sinclair, 72) - 5
Did little to impact the game in the closing stages after being given 72 minutes fewer than he should have.