MAN CITY 6, WATFORD 0
Manchester City hit Watford for six on a record-breaking day for Pep Guardiola’s side.
City became the first side to complete the domestic treble of league and the two cup competitions.
And they also became only the fourth side to win the two cup competitions in the same season.
It was also the biggest win since the FA Cup was first played at Wembley in 1923.
And it equalled a 116-year-old record when Bury beat Derby County 6-0 in the 1903 final as City were determined there would be no repeat of their loss to Wigan Athletic in their last FA Cup final appearance in 2013.
Raheem Sterling led the way with a hat trick while David Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne also found the net as City became the first top-flight side ever to record 50 wins in a season in all competitions.Embed from Getty Images
Manager Guardiola said: “It was an incredible final for us and we have finished an incredible year. To all the people at the club a big congratulations, especially the players because they are the reason why we have won these titles.
“It is one of the best season I have ever experienced as a manager, though I am not saying it is the best.
“It is not easy playing every three days, but we have been consistent over 10 months.”
Guardiola thought his side lacked energy having expended so much winning the title, but found it when it was needed.”
On Ederson’s early save from Roberto Pereyra: “In the final these kind of things make the difference. Ederson saved us at a key point at the beginning of the game, because 1-0 would have been really difficult for us.”
Can City get even better?: “We have to, always you can improve. There is no sense to stay still.”
Watford manager Javi Garcia admitted City were “much better” and “deserve recognition and good words”.
Guardiola sprang a selection surprise as Gabriel Jesus was preferred to Sergio Aguero.
He was on the bench alongside wide players De Bruyne and Leroy Sane, who lost out to Riyad Mahrez while there was no place for Phil Foden.
Watford, whose only final appearance was in 1984 when they lost to Everton, made two changes from the side beaten 4-1 at home by West Ham in their last league match as Heurelho Gomes was preferred to Ben Foster as he has been for all the cup games while Adrian Mariappa returned for Christian Kabasele.
Watford made a confident start and but for a crucial save from Ederson would have taken an 11th minute lead.
City were caught on the break as Abdoulaye Doucoure released Gerard Deulofeu who squared the ball from the right for Roberto Pereyra who was clean through.
City’s Brazilian keeper was off his line lightning fast to make a vital block with his legs.
Watford also had two shout for a penalty turned down in the same move as Pereyra went down and then Doucoure’s shot struck Vincent Kompany from almost point-blank range, but the second was more in hope.
City took the lead in the 26th minute with their first serious goal attempt after Doucoure was dispossessed.
Raheem Sterling eventually headed the ball on to David Silva who hooked a shot low to the left of Gomes his 10th goal of the season but first for 27 games since December.
City doubled their lead in the 38th minute after Gomes failed to cut out a far post cross from Bernardo Silva.
Jesus poked the ball home as it had crossed the line before Raheem Sterling got a final touch.
And replays confirmed it was Sterling’s 24th goal of the season to go with 15 assists.
City were denied a third goal soon after when Mahrez’s shot was beaten out by Gomes.
Watford had another penalty appeal waved aside late in the half when Doucoure’s shot appeared to strike the arm of Kompany.
Jesus, denied a goal in the opening half by millimetres, looked like a man on a mission to find the net from the restart.
First he forced a decent save from Gomes and then he had a flying header correctly ruled out for offside as City remained firmly in control.
City made their first change 10 minutes into the second half when Mahrez made way for De Bruyne.
De Bruyne had been on the field for less than six minutes when he found the net to make it 3-0.
Watford lost an aerial duel in the centre circle as City broke with Jesus providing the assist as he squared a pass to De Bruyne who skipped past Gomes before firing home from six yards.
City supporters, knowing a sixth FA Cup win was in the bag, celebrated with the Posnan.
And it got even better when Jesus added a fourth goal he richly deserved with 22 minutes left on the break. He was released by De Bruyne and slotted the ball low beneath Gomes from 14 yards.
He became the third City player to reach 20 goals for season joining Aguero and Sterling.
It was City’s 24th goal in the FA Cup this season, the highest number since Chelsea’s 24 in 1969/70. They have also had 10 different scorers in the competition this season.
City’s second change saw Sane replace Ilkay Gundogan with 17 minutes left and that was soon followed by the last one as John Stones took over from Gundogan as Aguero missed out completely.
And it got even better with a fifth goal in the 80th minute following a scintillating run by Bernardo Silva and cross from Sterling to shoot into the roof of the net from six yards, his 24th goal of the season.
Watford conceded a sixth as Sterling completed his hat -trick in the 87th minute.
De Bruyne delivered the cross from the right and Sterling’s initial shot struck the upright before he slotted in the rebound from almost on the line, his 100th career goal.
It was so nearly seven in stoppage time when Sterling set up Stone whose shot was deflected over off the legs of Gomes.
And while City were rampant the final whistle must have come as an enormous relief for Watford as it spared them further embarrassment, indeed humiliation as they still have not won a major trophy in the club’s history.