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Bernardo Silva scored his first Manchester City hat-trick on a desperate day for Watford

Five goals in the first 18 minutes set Manchester City on their way as they ripped apart a woeful Watford team to cut Liverpool's lead at the top of the Premier League to two points.

City had already bounced back from last weekend's humbling by Norwich with a clinical Champions League win at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, but this was a timely reminder of their ruthlessness and attacking power.

Bernardo Silva scored a hat-trick as Pep Guardiola's side ran riot to clinch their biggest league win since he took charge in 2016. They also hit the woodwork twice and continued to chase further goals until the end, but a record victory eluded them.

Manchester United's 9-0 win over Ipswich in 1995 remains the biggest victory in the Premier League era but City become only the seventh team to win a top-flight game by an eight-goal margin in the modern era.

City scored the opener after 52 seconds through David Silva before Sergio Aguero added a penalty and Riyad Mahrez struck via a deflection.

Bernarndo Silva headed the fourth and Nicolas Otamendi slid in the fifth. After the break City's intensity eased but Bernarndo Silva struck twice more and Kevin de Bruyne slammed in the eighth.

City's early onslaught

After David Silva got on the end of a brilliantly bending cross from De Bruyne to slide home from six yards, Watford almost hit back immediately. Gerard Deulofeu went round Nicolas Otamendi with an ease that will worry City boss Pep Guardiola, but saw his shot saved by an onrushing Ederson.

From then on, the home side took complete control - aided by a defensive horror show by the Hornets that saw them suffer an even bigger nightmare than when City hit them for six in the FA Cup final last May.

Ben Foster gave away a needless penalty when he rushed from his line to send Mahrez tumbling, with Aguero converting from the spot, and things quickly got worse for the visitors.

Mahrez made it 3-0 after 12 minutes when his free-kick deflected in off Tom Cleverley, and after 15 minutes it was 4-0 when more dreadful marking allowed Bernardo Silva to stoop and head home after Otamendi flicked on a corner.

Otamendi himself made it 5-0 shortly afterwards when he turned in Aguero's clever cut-back, before City gave their fans a rest from further celebrations - for a little while at least.

The onslaught continued after half-time when Bernardo Silva slotted home from a David Silva pass to make it 6-0, and he completed his first hat-trick for City when he converted another De Bruyne cross on the hour mark.

De Bruyne, one of the key orchestrators of this attacking masterclass, got his name on the scoresheet before the end too, casually smashing home City's eighth with five minutes left.

City's fans urged their team forward for more goals - and United's record - but for once on what was a painful afternoon for them, Watford's defence held out.

A reality check for Sanchez Flores

The only consolation for Quique Sanchez Flores, who was overseeing only his second game since being reappointed as Watford boss, is that his side do not have to play City every week.

After the high of his side's spirited second-half comeback to draw against Arsenal last week, this was a reminder of why they are bottom of the table, and winless so far this season.

Their miserable afternoon was summed up by the sight of Dimitri Foulquier trudging off on his Premier League debut as he was substituted after only 32 minutes, with his side already five goals down.

Sanchez Flores has work to do to lift morale before his side play more winnable games in weeks to come.

Man of the match - Kevin de Bruyne

He finished with a goal and two assists but statistics do not do justice to the quality of his passing and crossing. Watford simply could not live with him.Bernardo's big day - stats

    Manchester City's five goals after just 18 minutes was the fastest any side has gone 5-0 ahead in a Premier League match. Watford have lost their past 12 competitive games against Manchester City - their longest losing run against a single opponent. Manchester City's 8-0 victory against Watford was their biggest win in the English top flight. This was Watford's heaviest defeat in the top four tiers of English football and only the third time they've conceded eight goals in a league game (8-1 v Aberdare Athletic in January 1926 and 8-1 v Crystal Palace in September 1959). This is the first time an English top-flight side has scored 6+ goals in back-to-back meetings in all competitions with another top-flight club since Chelsea v Wigan in 2010. David Silva's opener was the fastest goal scored in the Premier League this season. Since his Man City debut in September 2015, Kevin De Bruyne has provided more Premier League assists than any other player (52). Sergio Aguero became the first player to score in seven consecutive Premier League appearances since Romelu Lukaku in December 2015.

What's next?

Manchester City begin their defence of the Carabao Cup at Championship side Preston on Tuesday with Watford hosting another high-flying second-tier side, Swansea, on the same night (both 19:45 BST kick-offs).

Both teams are in action in the Premier League next Saturday. Watford travel to fellow strugglers Wolves (15:00 BST) while City have a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton (17:30 BST).

    Line-ups Match Stats Live Text

Line-ups

Man City

    31Ederson

    2WalkerSubstituted forCanceloat 54'minutes

    30OtamendiSubstituted forGarciaat 63'minutes

    25Fernandinho

    22MendySubstituted forAngelinoat 45'minutesBooked at 81mins

    17De Bruyne

    16Rodri

    21Silva

    26Mahrez

    10Agüero

    20Bernardo SilvaBooked at 19mins

Substitutes

    1Bravo

    7Sterling

    8Gündogan

    9Gabriel Jesus

    12Angelino

    27Cancelo

    50Garcia

Watford

    26Foster

    21FemeníaBooked at 59mins

    4Dawson

    6Mariappa

    25Holebas

    36FoulquierSubstituted forPereyraat 33'minutes

    29Capoue

    16Doucouré

    19HughesSubstituted forSarrat 59'minutes

    8Cleverley

    7DeulofeuBooked at 59minsSubstituted forGrayat 77'minutes

Substitutes

    1Gomes

    2Janmaat

    14Chalobah

    18Gray

    23Sarr

    27Kabasele

    37Pereyra

Referee:

Mike Dean

Attendance:

54,273

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamWatford

Possession

Home69%

Away31%

Shots

Home28

Away5

Shots on Target

Home11

Away4

Corners

Home5

Away4

Fouls

Home5

Away9

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Manchester City 8, Watford 0.

Full TimePosted at 90'+4'

Second Half ends, Manchester City 8, Watford 0.

Posted at 90'+3'

Attempt saved. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

Posted at 90'+2'

Attempt blocked. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by David Silva.

Posted at 90'+1'

Attempt saved. Andre Gray (Watford) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by José Holebas.

Posted at 89'

Attempt blocked. Tom Cleverley (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andre Gray.

Posted at 88'

Attempt missed. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.

Goal!Posted at 85'

Goal! Manchester City 8, Watford 0. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

Posted at 82'

Offside, Manchester City. David Silva tries a through ball, but Riyad Mahrez is caught offside.

BookingPosted at 81'

Angeliño (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at 81'

Foul by Angeliño (Manchester City).

Posted at 81'

Andre Gray (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 81'

Attempt saved. Rodrigo (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

Posted at 80'

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Craig Dawson.

SubstitutionPosted at 77'

Substitution, Watford. Andre Gray replaces Gerard Deulofeu.

Posted at 77'

Attempt missed. Rodrigo (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Posted at 74'

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Craig Dawson.

Posted at 73'

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Fernandinho.

Posted at 72'

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Ederson.

Posted at 72'

Attempt saved. Gerard Deulofeu (Watford) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tom Cleverley.

Posted at 71'

Offside, Watford. Ben Foster tries a through ball, but Roberto Pereyra is caught offside.

Posted at 71'

Foul by Bernardo Silva (Manchester City).

Posted at 71'

Kiko Femenía (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 66'

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Angeliño with a cross.

Posted at 64'

Eric Garcia (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 64'

Foul by Ismaila Sarr (Watford).

SubstitutionPosted at 63'

Substitution, Manchester City. Eric Garcia replaces Nicolás Otamendi.

Posted at 62'

Attempt missed. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

Goal!Posted at 60'

Goal! Manchester City 7, Watford 0. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with a cross.

BookingPosted at 59'

Kiko Femenía (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at 59'

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at 59'

Foul by Kiko Femenía (Watford).

BookingPosted at 59'

Gerard Deulofeu (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

Posted at 59'

Rodrigo (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 59'

Foul by Roberto Pereyra (Watford).

SubstitutionPosted at 59'

Substitution, Watford. Ismaila Sarr replaces Will Hughes.

Posted at 58'

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Angeliño with a cross.

Posted at 57'

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

Posted at 54'

Attempt missed. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

SubstitutionPosted at 54'

Substitution, Manchester City. João Cancelo replaces Kyle Walker.

Show more updates

goal

Source: bbc.com

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