The Blues had to wait until just after the break to break down a stubborn, determined Watford side but goals from
On a sunny, warm Manchester afternoon, Watford arrived at the Etihad without a Premier League win but also unbeaten in their opening three games having drawn the lot
...City 2 Watford 0...
It wasn’t hard to see why they’ve started the season well, either – Quique Sanchez Flores’ side are well-drilled, organised and difficult to break down as City discovered in a sometimes frustrating first-half.
The hosts enjoyed almost all the possession, save for the odd Watford foray into the Blues’ half, but found it difficult to get through a crowded box with the Hornets’ intentions clear from the opening minutes.
It took 26 minutes for the first real opportunity with Raheem Sterling’s pace leaving two defenders in his wake as he burst into the box before his low shot was scrambled around the post by Heurelho Gomes.
Other than that, the creativity was generally snuffed out by sheer weight of bodies with the Blues needing to remain patient and wait for a chance to present itself and within two minutes of the re-start, that chance came and was converted by Sterling.
The visitors momentarily lost their focus as the impressive Bacary Sagna - in the space vacated by the substituted Jesus Navas - whipped in a fine cross that Sterling volleyed in at the near post to finally break the deadlock.
And the raucous home support didn’t have to wait long for a second as David Silva played in Fernandinho who buried the ball past Gomes to give the Blues breathing space and a more realistic-looking scoreline.
The defensive shackles eased if not quite abandoned, Watford showed more attacking intent and could have pulled one back on 65 minutes when Ikechi Anya found space in the City box only to be denied by a sliding Sagna challenge.
It would have been harsh, but it was a warning that the games wasn’t completely over.
A sweeping City move almost punished Watford again ten minutes from time ended with Aleks Kolarov’s pinpoint cross struck first time by Yaya Toure inches past the post
...City 2 Watford 0...
As it was, there was no further scoring to entertain the 53,218 crowd though the introduction of Kelechi Iheanacho was welcomed by the home fans with the Nigerian teenager showing a couple of nice touches in the few minutes that remained.
So four wins, four clean sheets and defeats for several of City’s likely title challengers – not a bad afternoon!