Manchester City bounced back from the disappointment of their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal last weekend by inflicting a damaging defeat on relegation-threatened Watford at Vicarage Road tonight.
As expected, Pep Guardiola’s side dominated possession during the opening exchanges, but they struggled to break down a well organised Watford rearguard. However, that all changed when in-form attacker Raheem Sterling fired home a powerful strike into the roof on the net on 31 minutes.
Five minutes before the break Sterling scored his second of the night, tapping home from close range after initially seeing his penalty saved by Hornets keeper Ben Foster.
Raheem Sterling’s best-ever scoring season in the Premier League yet ? pic.twitter.com/AU97NPCB7T
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 21, 2020
The England international looked nailed on to seal his hat-trick just after the hour mark, but he would once again be denied by the excellent Foster when clean through on goal, although the keeper could only divert the ball into the path of Phil Foden, leaving the 20-year-old with the simple task of stroking home into an empty net.
Kevin De Bruyne then moved to within one assist of equalling Thierry Henry’s all-time record of 20 in a Premier League season, when the Belgian playmaker’s whipped free-kick was headed home by Blues centre-back Aymeric Laporte.
Speaking afterwards, highly-rated youngster Foden admitted his side had been keen to get back to winning ways after Saturday’s Wembley defeat, while also suggesting that teammate Sterling has been eyeing a late run at the Golden Boot award.
“We weren’t ourselves against Arsenal,” Foden told Sky Sports.
”The energy wasn’t there and that was disappointing but it’s good to be back on track tonight. We were back to being ourselves.
“Raheem [Sterling] is always in the right place at the right time. He has scored a lot of goals and is really enjoying his football. I’m sure he’ll be thinking about it [the Golden Boot].
Foden has been in impressive form since the restart, but admitted that he still needs to develop further before nailing down a regular first-team spot in Guardiola’s fearsome outfit, while revealing that he hopes to feature in City legend David Silva’s final game for the club on Sunday against Norwich.
“I feel good at the moment and I’m performing quite well. But I’ve got a long way to go to be a regular starter,” Foden said.
“It would be special for me to finish alongside David on Sunday. He’s a legend for the club and has done a lot for us.”