A flying start from Manchester City stunned Watford as the Hornets suffered a 3-1 defeat at the home of the runaway Premier League leaders.

Raheem Sterling turned in from close range with 39 seconds played and it was 2-0 in the 13th minute when Christian Kabasele scored an own-goal.

Sergio Aguero made the most of Heurelho Gomes spilling Kevin De Bruyne’s driven cross to make it 3-0 from close range before Andre Gray hit back late on for Watford.

Watford were defensively suspect in the opening exchanges and their slow start left them with an almost impossible task to come back into the game.

Gray provided one of the few bright sparks on a night when Watford slipped to a fourth defeat in their last five Premier League outings.

Here’s how the Hornets rated at the Etihad Stadium.

Heurelho Gomes – 5

Parried De Bruyne’s driven cross into a dangerous area to gift Aguero a tap in but could do little else about the other City strikes. Dealt well with what else City had to offer.

Daryl Janmaat – 3

Lost track of Leroy Sane in the first minute as the German, who gave Janmaat a torrid time throughout, laid on the opener for Sterling.

Mollla Wague – 6

Made a number of important interventions, most notably with a well-timed challenge on Aguero as the Argentine looked to break clear. The most solid of Watford’s defenders.

Christian Kabasele – 5.5

Almost set up Gray with a clipped ball over the top from a free-kick. However, Kabasele blotted his copy book when turning into his own net on the slide.

Aguero would more than likely have scored had the Belgian not done so, but the own-goal all but ended Watford’s hopes.

Marvin Zeegelaar – 3

Similarly to Janmaat at right-back, Zeegelaar was well off the pace and failed to clear for the City opener. De Bruyne repeatedly had joy on the right wing and Zeegelaar failed to follow his run for the City second.

Ben Watson – 4.5

A useful player when Watford have plenty of the ball as he can recycle possession, but struggled in the face of City’s control.

A few misplaced passes in the first half and had a limited impact on the game.

Etienne Capoue – 5

His fine through ball gave Gray Watford’s best chance of the first half, but Capoue was, as he so often is, well off the pace.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 5

Like his midfield team mates, Doucoure struggled to get near City’s players as David Silva and De Bruyne ran the show. Lost possession cheaply at times.

Andre Carrillo – 6

The most productive of Watford’s wingers and showed great skill to beat his man and set up Watford’s consolation goal.

Andre Gray – 7

Provided good movement in attack in what was a thankless task at times. Forced a good save with a low drive in the first half before ending his goal drought in the second.

One of his better games in a Watford short and can hopefully gain some confidence from the display.

Richarlison – 5

Lacked his usual spark as he saw less of the ball on a night where the Brazilian had limited impact on proceedings.


Tom Cleverley – 5

Manchester United connections ensured a hostile reception and he did little to silence the boo boys.

Roberto Pererya – 5

Should have had a penalty after forcing a late foul from Nicolas Otamendi but was otherwise quiet.

Jerome Sinclair – N/A

Given too little time to make an impact.