Watford 1-2 Manchester City as it happened: City survive late scare to go five points clear 
Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Watford 1-2 Manchester City as it happened: City survive late scare to go five points clear 

Matchday live text commentary blog from Vicarage Road as Watford host Manchester City in the Premier League, 20:00 KO

Josh Slinger
I've been Josh Slinger and I hope you've enjoyed tonight's coverage of this game. Be sure to check back with VAVEL for coverage of every Premier League game, week in, week out.
Upcoming fixtures
City will be back in London on Saturday, as they face a tough task away at Chelsea.

Watford drop down to 11th and will look to climb back into the top 10 on Monday night, as they face former manager Marco Silva at Goodison Park.

Man of the Match
Despite being on the losing side, the Man of the Match award should go to Foster, who kept his side in the game time and time again between the sticks for Watford.
Positives for Watford
Credit has to go to Watford for their defensive efforts throughout.

The Hornets very nearly got something for their disciplined performance right at the death, and took City closer than most have thus far this season.

City go five clear
City survive a late scare to make it 21 games unbeaten in the league. The Blues now go five clear of Liverpool, at least until tomorrow night. 
Full-time: Watford 1-2 Manchester City.
Fernandinho heads clear from the corner, as Watford throw everyone forward, including 'keeper Foster. The Citizens may well have done enough now.
Another corner for Watford as they seek a late, late equaliser - City on the ropes!
There will be four added minutes. 
Ederson is booked for time wasting.
A final change for City - Laporte replaces Jesus as the Blues look to tighten up at the back in the latter stages.
A brilliant chance for Watford to equalise! A corner is whipped in towards Deeney, whose header doesn't have enough power on it to beat Ederson. The Hornets have belief here!
85' GOAL! Watford get one back!
Doucoure bundles the ball into the back of the net following a goalmouth scrap. City gave the ball away cheaply deep inside their own half. Still life in this one!
Another change for City, Kompany is replaced by Otamendi as Guardiola looks to keep his captain fresh and free of injury. 
A brilliant save from Foster, again denying Mahrez as he cuts in from the right onto his strong left. The Algerian winger has given Holebas a torrid time at left-back all night. 
81' Watford looking to press higher in search of an equaliser, whilst trying to remain wary of a City counter - the home side will have to get a goal soon if they're to make anything of the game in the latter stages.
Another attacking change for Watford - Gray replaces Success.
A rare good attack from Watford sees Deeney pick up the ball, play it onto the left flank towards the overlapping Doucoure, before the midfielders tame effort again sees Ederson save comfortably. 
A substitution for City - Gundogan replaces David Silva.
Holebas whips a deep free-kick into the City box. Success wins the header and directs it goalwards, although Ederson gathers the ball comfortably. 
A second chance in a minute for Jesus. Mahrez again picks out the Brazilian, who finds himself one on one with Foster, although is only able to chip the ball wide. A frustrating night for Jesus, who has been unable to prove himself in the absence of Aguero.
It should be three! Mahrez again whips in a teasing ball towards Jesus, however, Bernardo's slight touch takes it out of the path of his teammate, who is then unable to direct his header goalwards. 
A first change of the game sees Delofeu replace Chalobah for the home side.
City break forward again on the hour mark, this time Mahrez drives forward and cuts in from the right, before his effort at goal is deflected just wide of the post as Foster scrambles to ensure the Citizens don't make it three.
Following City's second, there is still no reaction from Watford, who seem well out of their depth here. 

The only positive thus far for the home side is that City haven't hit five and six like their last two visits, yet. 

Gracia will be very disappointed with the way his side gave the ball back to City, deep inside their own half, leaving City with the simple task of picking out Mahrez at the back stick - could be game over.
51' GOAL! City find a second!
Mahrez doubles City's lead! The ball in from the left flank sees the ball flash across the box before the Algerian taps in at the back post.
Sane is down in the opening stages of the half, he seems to have caught an elbow off his own player, Fernandinho, when challenging for a header with Success - will be alright to continue.
We're back underway in the second-half!
Foster keeping the Hornets in it
Foster is keeping Watford in this one, and has without a doubt been the Man of the Match so far. The Hornets will have to be much, much better in the second 45, although that is no easy task against a ruthless City side.
Half-time: Watford 0-1 Manchester City
There will be one additional minute.
A chance for City to double their lead immediately! Bernardo sets Mahrez free down the right, although the winger's bad touch sees the angle tighten, meaning he can only toe-poke wide. 
40' GOAL! 1-0 City
Sane gives City the lead that they deserve! Sane picked out at the back post by Mahrez, before the German winger chests the ball home, after getting in front of his marker. 
39' Watford simply looking to hold onto half-time now. Foster has defended heroically between the sticks thus far and will need more help from the 10 in front of him if Watford are to prevent City getting a goal tonight.
A huge chance for Watford! After a lot of defending the Hornets get forward, Doucoure flicks the ball over his head and the City backline before Deeney fires at goal. Ederson denies the Englishman with his feet - a huge chance!
Great work from Jesus down the left, cutting in down the byline before getting a shot away at goal from a tight angle - Foster denies yet another attack. 
A little bit of pressure from Watford in the City half, although the Blues show their class and comfortably play their way out and look to get back on the offensive. 
Seems only a matter of time before City score at the moment, complete domination from the Citizens.

Foster again comes up with two extraordinary saves, this time denying Mahrez and Bernardo Silva.

Groans from the home crowd as Watford finally get a foot on the ball, before immediately giving it away. The Hornets faithful are already becoming frustrated with Guardiola's sides' domination. 
Another chance for Sane as a clever flick round the corner from Bernardo Silva sees the ball bounce through to the winger - Kabasele is able to hook the ball behind for a corner. City knocking on the door. 
The biggest chance of the game so far sees Foster deny Sane!

Pereyra gives the ball away cheaply in the centre of the park, before Sane drives forward, finds himself one on one with the English keeper, but the former Manchester United man is able to deny the German with a big left palm. 

A first chance of the game for Watford sees them come closer than City have thus far, despite all of their pressure.

Deeney breaks down the left before cutting in and laying it off the Pereyra, who tries to bend into the far corner, although fires wide. 

City have dominated the majority of the ball in the early stages, whilst Watford are trying to get the balance right as to when to sit back, and when to look to put the away side under pressure. No real openings as of yet. 
The first attack of the game comes from City as Aguero's shot is blocked before David Silva fires wildly over the bar. 
We're underway under the lights at Vicarage Road!
Laporte rested
This is the first time all season that Laporte has been left out of a City 11 in the league. The basque defender has been highly praised this season, it will be interesting to see how the Blues fair without him.
City usually rampant
The teams are out onto the pitch. City have won their last two visits to Vicarage Road 5-0 and 6-0. The Hornets won't have been looking forward to this fixture, although have proven themselves against the big boys already this season. 
The teams are in the tunnel!
The teams are in the tunnel and ready for this matchup. City will be the undoubted favourites, although should the Hornets get off to a good start, with the crowd behind them, anything could happen.
Changes for both sides
Three changes for Watford as Kabasele, Chalobah and Deeney come into the starting 11.

As for City, the main bit of team news is the return of captain Kompany, whilst Sterling is rested - Mahrez replaces him. 

Starting XI's
Watford: Foster; Femina, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas; Hughes, Doucore, Chalobah, Pereyra; Deeney, Success

Man City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Kompany, Delph; D. Silva, Fernandinho, B. Silva; Mahrez, Jesus, Sane

Team news is in!
I shall be back with more updates closer to kick-off, including team news one hour prior to the game!
Head to head
City have won 11 of the last 13 encounters between these two sides, including last season humiliation of the Hornets, as Guardiola's men dismantled them in front of their own fans, eventually coming out 6-0 winners. 

This Watford side started the season strongly, and whilst they're underdogs, they will take confidence from knowing they can beat bigger sides in the league, having already overturned Tottenham Hotspur this season. 

Man City predicted XI
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Delph; Fernandinho, B. Silva, D. Silva; Mahrez, Jesus, Sane.
City injury issues
The league leaders also have a few injury issues, as the fixtures continue to come both domestically and in Europe. 

Sergio Aguero could miss the game with a slight knock, whilst Kevin de BruyneBenjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo are also expected to miss the game. Youngster Oleksandr Zinchenko is doubtful. 

Watford predicted XI
Foster; Femenia, Mariappa, Cathcart, Holebas; Hughes, Doucoure, Chalobah, Pereyra; Deulofeu, Deeney.
Watford injuries and suspensions
Tom CleverlyYounes Kaboul and Adalberto Penaranda are all expected to miss this encounter through injury, whilst Sebastian Prodl has recently returned to training.

Etienne Capoue is suspended after picking up a red card vs Leicester City at the weekend - a huge blow. 

Guardiola on Gracia
Pep Guardiola has also commented on the Watford boss, saying he hopes he gets a fair chance to build upon his early reign in the capital. “Watford have some continuity around the same project, same ideas and same manager. It gives some stability to the club. Hopefully he (Gracia) goes well and he can stay a long time there." ​​​​​​​
Javi Gracia's comments
Ahead of this one, Watford boss Javi Gracia is wanting his men to believe they can pull off a shock, despite the Hornets poor form, “Nothing is impossible. Always you have some chances." started the Spaniard, "We want to take advantage of the chances we have. It will be difficult. We know that but playing at home with the support of our fans I’m sure we will have some opportunities."
Relentless City
As Watford struggle in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola's side have continued to march on relentlessly as they look for their first ever back-to-back Premier League title reign.

City currently sit two points clear of Liverpool at the top of the league, however, will extend this lead to five points for at least 24 hours, should they pick up three points at Vicarage Road. 

Watford's form
Watford come into this one having accumulated just one point from their previous four Premier League encounters - not exactly the best of form ahead of a visit from the champions. 
Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live score commentary of Watford vs Manchester City in the Premier League. I'm Josh Slinger and I'll be taking you through the action as it unfolds.