MAN CITY 8, WATFORD 0
Ruthless Manchester City marked their 125th anniversary with a record top-flight victory as they put eight goals past hapless Watford.
It was an afternoon when Watford suffered their heaviest defeat in English football as City exorcised the demons from last Saturday’s shock defeat at Norwich City.
The match was the closest to the 125th birthday and City weren’t going to slip up from the moment David Silva scored after 52 seconds, the quickest Premier League goal this season.
Pep Guardiola’s side was 5-0 ahead inside 18 minutes, the quickest side to reach that mark in the Premier League era.
Bernardo Silva scored the first hat-trick of his career as he was one of six different scorers, the third time that had happened in the Premier League era.
What a pity they just failed to equal the Premier League record 9-0 scoreline set by Manchester United against Ipswich Town in 1995.
City were so close as they were also denied three times by the woodwork in a game in which they had 28 goal attempts with 11 on target.
Watford will be glad to see the back of City as since May 2017 they have lost 5-0, 6-0 twice and 8-0 against them.
And since Watford’s last win against City in 1989, City have won 15 and drawn two of their 17 meetings.
This was City’s 12th straight victory against Watford with that impressive sequence producing 46 goals.
Guardiola was delighted with the way his side didn’t ease up when 5-0 ahead so early in the game.Embed from Getty Images
He said: “It was weird and not normal to have five shoots and score five goals, but we gave them (Watford) two chances which they might have scored on another day.
“We were ruthless scoring five goals when sometimes you might do 25 or 50 shots and don’t score.
“After the Champions League and a huge trip, we had not time to prepare. It was a lovely day for us and the City fans in the sunshine.
“When it is 5-0 it is normal for players not to deliver and play their own game. We were more aggressive in the second half and pressed high.
“In the second half we were more than decent and played well. That’s what I liked.”
Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores apologised to the club’s fans saying they knew after 30 seconds how difficult it would be adding the match was “done” after five minutes.
City made four changes from the side that won 3-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk in their midweek Champions League game.
Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko were rested after playing every minute of every match while Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan also missed out.
There were recalls for Aguero, Benjamin Mendy and the two Silvas.
City made an electrifying start taking the lead after only 52 seconds when Kevin De Bruyne fired over a teasing cross that was converted by David Silva from three yards, an easy tap-in for the fastest Premier League goal of the season.
Watford came close to equalising in the fourth minute when Gerard Deulofeu broke free from Nicolas Otamendi only to see goalkeeper Ederson deflect his shot for a corner.
City went 2-0 ahead in the seventh minute after winning a penalty when Mahrez was brought down by keeper Ben Foster.
Aguero scored from the spot, his 100th goal at the Etihad and he has scored in all six league games this season, the first player to do this in Premier League history.
City added a third goal in the 12th minute after Abdoulaye Doucoure fouled Mahrez on the edge of the box.
The former Leicester City player picked himself up to score with the help of a wicked deflection off Tom Cleverley.
City were 4-0 ahead inside the opening quarter of an hour when De Bruyne’s corner was headed on Aguero for Bernardo Silva to nod home from inside five years.
And City added a fifth in the 18th minute when David Silva’s quickly-taken free kick released Aguero on the left and his low cross was converted by Otamendi who slid in unmarked at the far post.
Aguero had three chances in the remainder of the opening half to add a sixth goal, shooting narrowly wide when clean through, striking an upright with another well-struck effort and finally having a close-range header palmed out by Foster.
City made a change at the break with Angelino replacing Mendy at left-back.
The elusive sixth goal came three minutes after the restart after Watford failed to clear danger.
David Silva threaded a pass to Bernardo Silva who cut inside Crag Dawson before rolling a low shot past Foster.
City made a second substitution in the 54th minute when Kyle Walker made way for Joao Cancelo as the summer signing made his debut at the Etihad.
Aguero almost made it seven firing agonisingly wide from a Mahrez cut back as City continued to dominate.
Bernardo Silva completed his first City hat-trick on the hour stabbing the ball home from a couple of yards following a cross from De Bruyne.
Guardiola made his last change in the 63rd minute when Eric Garcia replaced Otamendi as the centre back made his Premier League debut.
City struck the woodwork for a third time when Mahrez headed against the bar from an Angelino cross.
De Bruyne made it 8-0 with a stunning strike in the 85th minute. Released by Mahrez, the Belgium cut in from the left of the penalty area before thundering an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
De Bruyne ought to have equalled Manchester United’s 9-0 Premier League record score when he wriggled free but dragged his shot narrowly wide.
But try as they did, City just could not conjure that ninth goal as the record score remains at Old Trafford.