Watford 0-5 Manchester City: Five-star City cruise into Champions League
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 21/05/17 10:54pm
Pep Guardiola's first season at Manchester City ended with a flourish as a 5-0 thrashing of Watford secured third place and Champions League football on Sunday.
Needing a point to book their place in Europe's elite-club competition next term, captain Vincent Kompany's fifth-minute header eased the early City nerves at Vicarage Road.
Two Sergio Aguero goals in 13 first-half minutes, and a fourth from Fernandinho before half-time, put the game beyond the makeshift Watford outfit Walter Mazzarri named for his final game at the club.
And things went from bad to worse for the Hornets as Gabriel Jesus' capped a fine City performance with their fifth on 58 minutes.
The result confirms City's place in the group stages of next season's Champions League, while Watford finish a disappointing campaign just one place above the relegation zone.
Mazzarri sprung a surprise on his final outing as Watford boss, naming captain Troy Deeney and two goalkeepers among his substitutes, while Gael Clichy replaced Aleksandar Kolarov for City at left-back.
But it was another defender, Kompany, who made the early impact, rising highest to head Kevin De Bruyne's corner beyond Heurelho Gomes.
Jesus should have doubled City's lead on 17 minutes, but his decision to square to Aguero allowed Watford to clear.
Aguero called Gomes into a point-blank save moments later but managed to breach the Brazilian's defences on 23 minutes, drilling low into the bottom corner after De Bruyne's incisive through pass.
Having found his scoring touch, Aguero doubled his tally on 36 minutes, applying the finishing touch to a scintillating counter which started with goalkeeper Willy Caballero.
Three then became four as Fernandinho bundled his way through a crumbling Watford defence and poked past Gomes four minutes before the interval.
Allowed to regroup at the break, Stefano Okaka's fierce drive, which drew a fine save from Caballero, raised the spirits of the home faithful.
Mazzarri then received a lecture from referee Jon Moss, and Watford's fans began to call for him to be sent to the stands.
Normal service soon resumed on the hour though, when Jesus stole in ahead of Tom Cleverley to scoop Aguero's cross over Gomes.
Deeney's omission and then introduction with the Hornets trailing 5-0 - which received the biggest cheer of the day from the home fans - again suggested all was not well between him and Mazzarri.
It proved to be an acrimonious end to Mazzarri's year in charge but a satisfying finale - albeit not a particularly taxing one - for Pep Guardiola and City.
Watford: Gomes (6), Holebas (4), Mason (6), Janmaat (4), Amrabat (4), Behrami (5), Doucoure (5), Niang (5), Cleverley (4), Capoue (5), Okaka (6).
Used subs: Deeney (4), Eleftheriou (5), Pereira (n/a).
Man City: Caballero (6), Fernandinho (7), Otamendi (7), Kompany (7), Clichy (7), Sane (7), Toure (7), Silva (7), De Bruyne (8), Gabriel Jesus (8), Aguero (9).
Used subs: Sagna (4),Jesus Navas (4), Iheanacho (4).
Man of the Match: Sergio Aguero