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28 November 2023

Guardiola salutes 'ruthless' Man City after eight-goal blitz

Photo: AFP


Pep Guardiola saluted Manchester City's "ruthless" streak after they romped to a club record 8-0 Premier League demolition of hapless Watford on Saturday.

Guardiola was delighted that his team did not ease off after storming into a 5-0 lead in just 18 minutes at the Etihad Stadium.

It continued City's impressive response following their shock 3-2 defeat at Norwich last weekend.

This memorable victory came three days after a 3-0 midweek Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

"What I like the most is normally when it's 5-0 at half time the second half is not serious, it's boring but we did the opposite and we were more aggressive and made a very good second half," Guardiola said.

"We were ruthless in terms of five shots, five goals. Sometimes we shoot 25 times or 15 or 20 and you cannot do it.

"People still don't understand, journalists, pundits, former players, losing games is part of life. Opponents always deserve respect.

"The same feeling I have now I had after Norwich so it was not a bad performance. We can lose the games but the important thing is the approach and the way you react as a team."

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores apologised to Hornets fans after his team collapsed to the heaviest league defeat in the club's history.

They were 1-0 down after just 53 seconds, five down after 18 minutes and ended up lucky it was 'only' eight against a City side who looked as if they would score every time they attacked.

Bernardo Silva scored his first City hat-trick and the other goals came from David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi and man-of-the-match Kevin De Bruyne.

Sanchez Flores, who was in charge of only his second game since his re-appointment as Hornets boss, said: "First of all, I would like to say sorry to the fans. We made a lot of mistakes. The result is very difficult but it is the consequence of mistakes in different ways.

"All the goals we conceded came from different things. And it is very difficult to play like this against Manchester City."

'Not normal'

Watford have now lost 12 consecutive games against City and conceded an embarrassing 46 goals.

Asked if his players have a mental block about facing Guardiola's side, Sanchez Flores said: I don't know what the mentality and psychology of the players is. But it's true we have regularly conceded a lot of goals against City."

The only disappointment for City was that they failed to equal the Premier League record win of 9-0 by Manchester United against Ipswich back in 1995.

Aguero missed several chances to ensure City set a new best score but he claimed the consolation of a personal record - his early penalty means he is the first player in the Premier League era to score in each of the first six games of a campaign.

Given the recent history of this fixture, it was no real surprise that City won - or by a sizeable margin.

After all, they had beaten the Hornets on the last 11 occasions they had met them in all competitions, including last season's one-sided FA Cup final at Wembley when City ran out 6-0 winners.

But what was a surprise was the way the Watford collapsed so quickly and meekly.

It was the fastest time for a team to go 5-0 up in Premier League history.

"It is weird, it is not normal," Guardiola said. "Five shots, five goals.

"In the same time we gave them two chances to score two goals that we were lucky in this time it didn't happen when in the past it sometimes happened.

"But the quality of the players up front made the difference, so the quality that we have is a joy to watch."