Manchester City hit Watford for eight in English Premier League

Questions were asked about Manchester City’s English Premier League title defense after defeat by Norwich City. A 8-0 win over Watford on Saturday provided a comprehensive answer that Pep Guardiola’s team is determined to keep league leaders Liverpool in their sights.

Five goals came in the opening 20 minutes as Watford suffered another embarrassing defeat by City after last season’s 6-0 thrashing in the FA Cup final.

Bernardo Silva scored a hat-trick, with City’s other goals coming from David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi and Kevin de Bruyne.

City’s victory put them two points behind Liverpool, who play at Chelsea on Sunday, while Watford stay rooted to the bottom of the table on two points.

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De Bruyne masterclass

This was City’s record Premier League win, as the club went one goal better than the 7-0 success against Norwich in 2013. The Premier League’s biggest margin of victory is Manchester United’s 9-0 win over Ipswich in 1995.

De Bruyne was superb for City throughout and quickly got down to work setting up David Silva after just 52 seconds.

Watford keeper Ben Foster then brought down Riyad Mahrez, allowing Aguero to convert the penalty as the Argentine scored his seventh league goal of the season.

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A Mahrez free-kick hit Watford’s Tom Cleverley to deflect past Foster for the third, with Otamendi setting up Bernardo Silva to make it 4-0 following a De Bruyne corner.

Otamendi’s 18th-minute goal ensured City now holds the Premier League record for the fastest 5-0 lead.

Early in the second half, Bernardo Silva got his second, before completing his hat-trick following a De Bruyne cross. The Belgian international capped a superb performance to score City’s eighth.

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Earlier on Saturday, Leicester City moved up to third in the table after Brendan Rodgers’ team came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur.

Harry Kane’s brilliantly instinctive finish gave Spurs the lead, but second-half goals from Ricardo Pereira and James Maddison completed an impressive win for Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

“We’re six games in, we are not getting carried away,” said Rodgers. “We had a tough start but I’m so pleased with the players’ focus.”

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Both teams had goals ruled out by the VAR system.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino pinpointed the decision to rule out Serge Aurier’s second-half goal — Son Heung-Min was deemed marginally offside — as the turning point in the game when the visitors were still 1-0 ahead.

“The emotion of the game changed. The belief it gave to Leicester made things happen differently in the last 10 minutes,” said Pochettino.

“I’m only going to say that we all accept that system in the game and now I am not going to complain.”