Javi Gracia praises his Watford side following City defeat
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

A second-half Raheem Sterling hat-trick has seen Manchester City defeat Watford 3-1.

Despite this loss, Javi Gracia has spoken of how proud he is of his team's efforts on a tough day for the Hornets.

Very good opening period

Following the game, Gracia was keen to express his delight at the performance of his side in the first half.

"In the first half, we had a very good performance. Well organised, didn’t concede many chances." started Gracia, before going on to express some disappointment in the second-half showing. 

"In the second [half], the game changes after conceding the first goal. There were some moments where we weren’t  focused, then conceded two goals and it was impossible."

The need for VAR

The Hornets boss has also shown his frustration at the first-goal that his side conceded.

Sterling bundled the ball into the net, before being flagged offside, only for the referee to then overturn this decision and give the goal.

Gracia expressed his desire for VAR, which will be introduced into the Premier League from the start of next season.

"I think VAR will reduce mistakes, but I'm sure there will be mistakes as well." started Gracia, before going on to describe the goal as "A clear offside position, maybe two metres."

Focus on the cup?

With Watford having already reached the 40 point mark this season, sitting comfortably in the top 10, the focus perhaps turns to an Emirates FA Cup quarter-final for the Hornets.

The Londoners made seven changes going into this one, showing that Gracia is potentially more interested in his sides cup campaign, and the game next weekend against Crystal Palace.

The Spanish boss finished his talk of the game by mentioning the cup.

"In my opinion, we competed well against a very good team, now we focus on the FA Cup."