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Manchester City vs Watford. Premier League.

Etihad StadiumAttendance53,013.

Manchester City 5

  • G Jesus (4th minute, 23rd minute, 49th minute pen, 53rd minute)
  • Rodri (34th minute)

Watford 1

  • H Kamara (28th minute)

Man City 5-1 Watford: Gabriel Jesus scores four goals as City extend lead at top of Premier League

Match report and highlights as Manchester City extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points; Gabriel Jesus scored two goals in each half and assisted Rodri's rocketed strike in an eye-catching performance; Hassane Kamara scored the first-half reply for Watford

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City's win against Watford in the Premier League

Gabriel Jesus starred for Manchester City as they extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table, scoring four goals and assisting another in a 5-1 dismantling of Watford.

Pep Guardiola's side did not waste the advantage of playing first this weekend and now lead Liverpool by four points, with the Reds facing Everton in the Merseyside derby on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 4pm.

"Nothing changes," the City boss told Sky Sports. "When we won against Brighton we were two points behind [before the game], now we're four in front. Brighton was a 'final'. We had another 'final' today and we won it. Now we have an opportunity to play a 'final' against Leeds.

"Nothing changes. We have to win all five games to be champions."

And it was Brazilian forward Jesus who propelled Man City to another impressive victory against the relegation-threatened Hornets, who remain seven points from safety with five games to play.

It looked like the hosts would run away with the first half once again when Jesus scored his first goal inside four minutes. City scored five goals in the first 18 minutes when Watford last visited the Etihad in September 2019.

Oleksandr Zinchenko picked up Joao Cancelo's long cross over on the left of the area, with his fizzing cross turned home by Jesus' outstretched foot.

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The 25-year-old made it two for City in the 23rd minute with arguably one of the easiest goals he will score this season, heading home a curling ball after a world-class cross from Kevin De Bruyne on the left.

Team news

  • Man City made six changes after beating Brighton in midweek. John Stones did not make the match day squad, but Nathan Ake was fit enough for a spot on the bench. Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden also joined him among the substitutes.
  • Ruben Diaz, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Jack Grealish, Oleksander Zinchenko and Fernandinho all came into the XI, with an eye surely on Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
  • Watford made three changes to the team that lost late on to Brentford last weekend. Kiko Femenia, Juraj Kucka – both missing with knocks - and Joao Pedro dropped out of the side, with Jeremey Ngakia, Josh King and Tom Cleverley replacing them.

Jesus' hat-trick came just seconds after the restart as he made it 4-1. Man City were awarded a penalty as Jesus, who had easily outmuscled Hassane Kamara down the right of the area, saw his legs swiped from underneath him by Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster. "It is a stonewall penalty," Paul Merson said on Soccer Saturday.

Despite a mix-up in communication between the on-field and VAR officials meaning it took a few minutes for the penalty to be taken, it did not affect Jesus as he powered the ball into the far corner for his fourth career hat-trick.

Then, in the 53rd minute, it was four for Jesus after some simply sublime one-touch build-up play. After some good work from Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish in midfield, Jesus played a neat one-two with De Bruyne before sweeping the ball past Foster for Man City's fifth of the game.

Rodri celebrates after scoring for Manchester City against Watford
Image: Rodri celebrates after scoring a thunderous effort for Manchester City

However, the pick of the afternoon's goals arguably came from Rodri, who scored a rocketed effort to restore City's two-goal lead in the 34th minute. De Bruyne had been fouled in the build-up, but referee Kevin Friend waved play on.

It worked in City's favour too as Jesus - nabbing an assist alongside his four goals - picked out Rodri at the top of the area. Despite Fernandinho pleading with him to put it out of play so De Bruyne could be treated, Rodri only had eyes for goal, sending a thunderous effort past Foster from range.

Watford did look like putting up some form of a fight in the first half. Zinchenko stopped Watford from a quick equaliser in the 12th minute, making a last-ditch tackle to thwart Emmanuel Dennis' fast break.

Man City make more history

Manchester City have now won 15 consecutive games against Watford in all competitions, the longest ever winning run by an English league side over another. The aggregate score in those 15 meetings is 58-8.

Roy Hodgson's side had already proven they could spring a surprise and went a step further when they made it 2-1 just before the half-hour. Some lovely build-up play from Joshua King and Dennis on the left saw the latter lift a delightful ball into the middle for Kamara who powered it into the far corner with a superb finish.

However, the Hornets were simply outclassed by a muscle-flexing Man City, who will hope for a similar showing when they take on Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday evening.

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (5), Cancelo (7), Dias (6), Laporte (6), Zinchenko (7), De Bruyne (8), Rodri (7), Fernandinho (7), Grealish (7), Sterling (7), Jesus (8).

Subs used: Gundogan (7), Ake (6), Mahrez (6).

Watford: Foster (6), Ngakia (6), Kabasele (5), Samir (5), Kamara (6), Sissoko (6), Louza (5), Cleverley (6), Sarr (5), King (6), Dennis (6).

Subs used: Cathcart (5), Joao Pedro (5), Kayembe (n/a).

Man of the match: Gabriel Jesus.

How the table stands

Man of the match - Gabriel Jesus | 'It was my day'

Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring for Manchester City against Watford
Image: Jesus celebrates his opening goal at the Etihad Stadium

With four goals and an assist, it would be hard to give the award to anyone else. A superb afternoon's work for Jesus at a crucial time in Man City's season.

He later told Sky Sports: "It was my day. This was my first hat-trick in the Premier League. I try it, sometimes I score two and hit the post, the defender blocks, the keeper saves. Today was my day. I am very happy with the three points, the team played so good this afternoon. We deserved it."

The service to Jesus was first-class too, with Kevin De Bruyne producing a fine assist for the second of his four goals.

"He is an amazing player, he always tries to put the ball in the box," Jesus said of his team-mate. "When I play on the right side, I try to do the same but he is better than me, obviously! Always when he has the ball, I try to go in the area to finish and today I was happy that he gave a very good cross and I could head it in."

Guardiola: Jesus deserves his moment

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Gabriel Jesus deserves the praise he is receiving after scoring four goals against Watford in the Premier League

Man City manager Pep Guardiola to Sky Sports:

"If there was one person who deserves the best of his life for him and his family and friends, it's Gabriel.

"All of us at the club and locker room, when he has one of these situations we are happy for him because he is so generous and it doesn't matter what position he is going to play, he always fights, he always helps for his mates. It was fantastic.

Sky Sports' Paul Merson on Man City...

“When it is one goal you never know because if either of these two teams let one in late on and draw that is it really, in my opinion. But then Rodri scores and Jesus in the second half. They just play at a canter. It is scary really.”

"We started with having a goal in the first minutes of the first half and second half, that was good. We didn't defend well in the back, we were not aggressive enough. Defending is a question of attitude, it's not question of skills or abilities, and we were not good.

"But the players at the front, not only Gabriel Jesus for his incredible four goals, but Raheem, Jack, Kevin, all of them, they were brilliant."

Hodgson: City provoked mistakes and capitalised

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Watford boss Roy Hodgson says there is a chance his side can still stay up but they must cut out mistakes in their defence

Watford manager Roy Hodgson to Sky Sports:

"It was always going to be a tough afternoon because we're playing the champions and a team that's fighting to be champions for a second year in a row.

"If you then concede goals in the very first minutes, you have made life far too difficult for yourself against a team of Man City's quality. In the end, when these things happen, you can so easily find yourself on the end of the heavy defeat.

"There's always a glimpse of hope if you defend properly and make certain that they don't score their goals too easily. There's always opportunists and hope on the counter-attack that you can do something.

"That was the case today, but the pressure is always on the defence and that does provoke mistakes unfortunately and they were able to capitalise on them.

"There's five games left to play so that also gives us lots of hope, but we have to make certain we cut out some of the mistakes that we were forced into giving today and conceding goals in that way.

"But I think there's every chance that against teams around us now, we can certainly play better. Individuals can give better performances than they have done today.

"But to be honest to everybody, they provoke those mistakes and make life difficult for you and that's why they're top of the league and we're near the bottom."

Opta stats - Jesus shines in City win

  • Manchester City have won 25 Premier League games this season, the fifth consecutive campaign they have won 25+ matches in the division. They are only the second side in English top-flight history to win 25+ matches in five straight seasons, after Manchester United from 2005-06 to 2009-10.
  • Man City forward Gabriel Jesus scored his first Premier League hat-trick in his 155th appearance in the competition. He was the fifth Brazilian hat-trick scorer in the competition, after Afonso Alves, Robinho, Roberto Firmino and Lucas Moura, but first of those to score four in a single match.
  • Gabriel Jesus became only the second Manchester City player to be directly involved in five goals in a single Premier League game (four goals, one assist), after Sergio Aguero scored five against Newcastle in October 2015. He was the third player to score four goals in a Premier League match for the Citizens, after Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero (x3).
  • Man City's Kevin De Bruyne has assisted nine Premier League goals against Watford, his most against a single opponent in the competition.

What's next?

Up next for Manchester City is the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night. Then City return to Premier League action on Saturday at Leeds, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.

SNF

Next for Watford is a home game against relegation rivals Burnley on Saturday; 3pm kick-off.

Manchester City's fixture schedule:

To be rearranged: Wolves (a) Premier League

Tuesday - Real Madrid (h) Champions League SF first leg

April 30 - Leeds (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 4 - Real Madrid (a) Champions League SF second leg

May 8 - Newcastle (h) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 15 - West Ham (a) Premier League, live on Sky Sports

May 22 - Aston Villa (h) Premier League

May 28 - Champions League final *

* Subject to progress

Watford's remaining fixtures

April 30 - Burnley (h)

May 7 - Crystal Palace (a)

May 10 - Everton (h)

May 15 - Leicester (h)

May 22 - Chelsea (a)

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