Watford head coach Javi Gracia has said that Raheem Sterling's first goal of three was clearly offside, as the Hornets lost 3-1 at Manchester City.

Speaking after the game, Gracia said he did not want to criticise referee Paul Tierney after he overruled his assistant's flag and awarded the goal.

However, he said if the official wanted to explain his decision, he would be willing to listen to him.

He said: "That decision, I think everybody could see what happened. This season, I didn’t criticise the referees and I’m not going to do it today. If the officials want to explain what happened, they can do it. In my opinion it’s clear.

"Today, in my opinion it’s clear. Sterling is in an offside position, a clear offside position, maybe two metres. After that there’s an offside position of influence as well because he’s going to the ball.

"It’s true, the defender touched the ball, but the defender touched the ball when the striker is going to press him and close to him."

The controversial goal was the first of three in 13 minutes for Sterling before Gerard Deulofeu added a consolation for the Hornets. 

Gracia said he thought his side had competed well, but lost their focus at critical moments.

He said: "In the first half we had a very good performance, better defensively because we were well organised and didn’t concede many chances and I think it was a good first half.

"In the second, the game changed. After conceding the first goal, there were some moments when we didn’t focus and then conceded two goals. After it was impossible to have the option to get any points."