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Sterling stars as City seal treble with Watford rout

Sterling stars as City seal treble with Watford rout

18/05/2019 at 18:58Updated 05/06/2019 at 14:22

FA Cup final, Wembley - Manchester City 6 (David Silva 26, Sterling 81, 87, De Bruyne 61, Jesus 38, 68) Watford 0

Manchester City claimed a historic domestic treble courtesy of an emphatic 6-0 FA Cup final rout of Watford at Wembley.

Doubles from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus and further strikes from David Silva and substitute Kevin De Bruyne did the damage as the Hornets' 35-year wait for a second-ever appearance on this stage ended in humiliation.

It means Pep Guardiola's team are the first English men's side to win all three domestic trophies in the same season. It also sees the Spaniard become only the eighth male manager to win the English top flight, League Cup and FA Cup in his career.

Watford had finished a massive 38 points adrift of the champions and in the end it showed as the Citizens equalled the record for the biggest margin of victory in an FA Cup final. Roberto Pereyra missed a gilt-edged chance to put the Hornets ahead on 11 minutes and it proved very costly as they were eventually blown away.

From the moment David Silva ended his own 27-game goal drought, the Citizens never looked back. Sterling had looked like he had poached the second on the goal line before the interval after Jesus had hooked Bernardo Silva's cross beyond Heurelho Gomes, but the goal was given to the Brazilian after the match.

De Bruyne came off the bench to add the third just past the hour before setting up Jesus for the fourth. Sterling then rubbed salt in the Watford wounds with two more in the final nine minutes as City claimed the FA Cup for the sixth time in their history.

Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph of Manchester City celebrate with the trophy following the FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Watford at Wembley Stadium on May 18, 2019 in London, England.

Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph of Manchester City celebrate with the trophy following the FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Watford at Wembley Stadium on May 18, 2019 in London, England.Getty Images

TALKING POINT

City sign off a sensational campaign with more history.

There was to be no fairytale for Watford, only brutal reality. Thirty-five years on from their maiden appearance in an FA Cup final, they suffered more anguish. Indeed, it was as many predicted - a City masterclass. The Citizens were taken to the wire as they retained the Premier League title and needed penalties to see off Chelsea in the League Cup final, but the domestic treble was sealed with aplomb.

It is undoubtedly the greatest season in City's history and Guardiola will now set his sights on a period of sustained dominance. His team will start next term as favourites to lift all three pieces of silverware again, but it will no doubt be the Champions League that will be firmly on his radar. Despite what he and those in City's hierarchy may suggest, that was what he was brought in to win. That will be the true barometer of greatness, but if his side continue in this vein, it is surely inevitable in the years ahead (FFP allegations permitting).

MAN OF THE MATCH

Raheem Sterling (Man City). The FWA player of the year put the icing on a stellar season for his club with what he initially thought was the first FA Cup final hat-trick since 1953. It ended up just being the two goals, but his mazy runs at speed were devastating at times as City ruthlessly destroyed Watford on the break. He just about edges out the likes of De Bruyne and Jesus for the man of the match gong as the champions' attacking players all shone.

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City celebrates scoring his teams fifth goal during the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Watford FC at Wembley Stadium on May 18, 2019 in London, England

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City celebrates scoring his teams fifth goal during the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Watford FC at Wembley Stadium on May 18, 2019 in London, EnglandGetty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

MAN CITY: Ederson 8, Walker7, Kompany 8, Laporte 8, Zinchenko 7, Gundogan 8, Silva 8, Mahrez 7, Bernardo 8, Sterling 9, Jesus 9. Subs: De Bruyne 9, Sane 6, Stones 6.

WATFORD: Gomes 6, Femenia 6, Cathcart 6, Mariappa 6, Holebas 6, Capoue 7, Doucoure 6, Hughes 6, Pereyra 5, Deulofeu 6, Deeney 6. Subs: Gray 6, Success 6. Cleverley 6.

KEY MOMENTS

11' - WATFORD CHANCE! Ederson produces a stunning one-on-one save to deny Roberto Pereyra after Watford had broken at speed and sent him clear via Gerard Deulofeu.

26' - GOAL! Man City 1-0 Watford. David Silva hooks a low drive into the far corner after Sterling had nodded the ball back into space on the left side of the area.

38' - GOAL! Man City 2-0 Watford. Jesus doubles the champions' advantage as he meets Bernardo Silva's sumptuous cross to steer home at the far post.

61' - GOAL! Man City 3-0 Watford. De Bruyne finishes the contest! City break at speed and the Belgian all-but walks it into the net after Jesus had rolled it into his path.

68' - GOAL! Man City 4-0 Watford. City ruthlessly counter once again. De Bruyne sends Jesus clear and he makes no mistake with cool finish.

81' - GOAL! Man City 5-0 Watford. It's five-star City! Sterling applies a close-range finish after Bernardo Silva had surged to the left byline and put it on a plate.

87' - GOAL! Man City 6-0 Watford. It's six! Sterling tucks home again from close in after Gomes had tipped his initial effort on to the post.

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City celebrates scoring his teams fifth goal during the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Watford FC at Wembley Stadium on May 18, 2019 in London, England

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City celebrates scoring his teams fifth goal during the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Watford FC at Wembley Stadium on May 18, 2019 in London, EnglandGetty Images

KEY STATS

  • David Silva ended a run of 27 games for Manchester City without scoring in all competitions, attempting 34 shots and playing 2066 minutes since he last found the net against Southampton on December 30.
  • Man City became only the third team in history to score six goals in an FA Cup final (Bury 6-0 Derby, in 1903 at Crystal Palace and Blackburn 6-1 The Wednesday, in 1890 at Kennington Oval).
  • Manchester City are the first English top-flight side in history to win 50 matches in a single season in all competitions, six more than they managed in 2017-18.
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