Calvin Emeka Onwuka was at Vicarage Road to witness the Man City Mastery of Watford.
One of the features of the Premier League has always been the feeling that home teams will give every visiting side a proper game. The two Manchester clubs are prepared to bin that notion for the rest of this season it seems. United had gone to the Liberty Stadium and put 4 past Swansea a few weeks ago. This weekend, Pep Guardiola and his Man City side rocked up to Watford and obliterated the home side 6 nil. It could and probably should have been 8 or 9.
Watching City at Vicarage Road was an exercise for the fan/journalist so only God knows what it is like to play against them. The passing, the movement, the adroit use of space by the players so as to receive passes or create angles for the ball to be moved on are just special to watch at close quarters.
Of course there will be sterner challenges than Marco Silva’s side in the league and indeed in Europe but you can’t help the feeling that it will take real stern stuff to stop the City tide this season – domestically at least.
Sergio Aguero plundered a hat trick as his partnership with Gabriel Jesus seems to be made in heaven. Tactically, they are not the typical strike duo. The Watford centre-backs of Adrian Mariappa and Christian Kabasele were never sure of who they were supposed to be marking. Right from the kick off City had the look of a team assured – why not, they had plundered 5 goals on this same venue only in May.
Nathaniel Chalobah has a very good reputation and has even gotten an England call up, he was given a masterclass in midfield play by the tactically brilliant Fernandinho
Nathaniel Chalobah has a very good reputation and has even gotten an England call up, he was given a masterclass in midfield play by the tactically brilliant Fernandinho. Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva along with Raheem Sterling get rave reviews with their twinkle toes and passes but it is the Brazilian, sitting at the base of the midfield, who is the brains of this side. He sees everything defensively and offensively. He passes sideways when he needs to, he passes backwards to diffuse situations but it is his ability to make defence splitting passes from his deep positions that caught the eye. One particular pass into Aguero’s path after dissecting the defence had the away end singing his name.
Abdoulaye Doucoure and Tom Cleverley offered a lot more perspiration than Chalobah but they were no match for Fernandinho and his lieutenants. With the Brazilian offering protection for Nicholas Otamendi and John Stones, the swashbuckling fullbacks Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy just ran riot.
Guardiola has spent a lot of money and he knows he is under heavy pressure to deliver the league title this season. 11 goals in 2 league games will fill him and the side with confidence. The supposed wisdom is that City might be weak at the back. The impression one gets watching this team is that they have the speed, athleticism, dynamism and depth to give every team a game. To get at the defence might require great planning on set-pieces. Watford fashioned a chance when Holebas hoisted in a free kick brilliantly but Richarlison headed wide when unmarked. It was nil-nil at the time. A few minutes later, City went ahead and never looked back.
This will be one firecracker of a season in the Premier League.