Manchester City have added their third trophy to their 2018/19 cabinet, demolishing Watford 6-0 in the Emirates FA Cup final.
Story of the game
Following the traditional ceremony that takes place before every FA Cup final, the pattern of how this game would play out was obvious from the off.
Unsurprisingly, straight away, it was obvious that the Citizens would dominate the vast majority of possession, whilst the Hornets would look to use their pace on the flanks as well as the power of Troy Deeney to hit the Premier League champions on the counter.
On the 10 minute mark, the Londoners then had a chance of their own.
Gerard Deulofeu was set free down the right flank, using his pace to his advantage before sliding the ball through to Roberto Pereyra. One on one with the ‘keeper, the Watford midfield struck straight at the advancing Ederson – a glorious opportunity.
City continued to hold the vast majority of the ball, although it was Javi Gracia’s men that looked the most threatening.
Pereyra was again involved as a penalty box scrap led to the ball striking Vincent Kompany on the arm. Penalty appeals waved away by Kevin Friend, who was then proved correct by VAR.
Despite these chances undoubtedly boosting Watford’s confidence, it was Pep Guardiola’s men who struck first after 27 minutes.
Raheem Sterling won a header inside the Watford box before the ball arrived at the feet of David Silva. El Mago struck towards the back post before the ball deflected off Kiko Fermina and bounced beyond Heurelho Gomes.
The Blues then continued to assert their dominance on the game before adding a second 10 minutes later.
Bernardo played a diagonal ball in behind the Watford backline, where Jesus waited to tap home from a tight angle. City’s lead doubled and the domestic treble looking increasingly likely heading into half-time.
Jesus had the ball in the net again in the opening stages of the second 45, although was clearly offside following Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross – goal ruled out.
Watford put in a valiant effort to get themselves back into the game, with Deulofeu causing the most problems for City’s backline with his menacing pace and tight ball control. The Blues held strong.
Ayermic Laporte then headed just wide from a corner before City added a third.
Sterling flicked the ball round the corner on the half-way line, setting free Jesus who calmly played through substitute Kevin de Bruyne, before the Belgian dummied a shot, taking Gomes completely out the game before slotting home into an empty net, sealing a third trophy of the season.
City’s 166th goal of the season – 100 more than Watford have scored. Incredible.
Moments later, de Bruyne returned the favour as City made it four.
The Belgian this time set Jesus through one-on-one with Gomes and the Brazilian slotted home as calmly as de Bruyne had to put the game beyond any doubt. 4-0.
The champions of England proceeded to keep the ball, toying with Watford, until Sterling added a fifth with 10 minutes to play.
Bernardo drove with pace down the left flank and cut the ball across the six-yard box where the English winger was waiting, unmarked, to smash home another.
City needed one more goal to equal the highest FA Cup final winning scoreline - a record that Watford didn't want against their name.
With three minutes to go, this became reality as Sterling got his second.
The ball arrived at the feet of the PFA Young Player of the Year following a low cross from the right. Sterling fired at Gomes, who tipped the ball onto the post before the ball arrived back at the feet of City's number seven for him to easily tap home.
Kevin Friend blew for full-time moments later, putting Watford out of their misery, and City had another trophy for their cabinet.
Takeaways from the match
A domestic treble
Ever since the turn of the year, City’s form has led to talk of a potential unprecedented quadruple – a testament as to how good this side really is.
The Blues haven’t got their hands on the trophy they crave the most, the UEFA Champions League, although have pulled off a domestic treble. Premier League, Carabao Cup and now FA Cup champions, an achievement never before accomplished and arguably the most memorable season in the clubs history.
Trust in Jesus
When fighting on four fronts heading into the latter stages of a season, rotation is crucial.
Guardiola placed trust in Jesus to lead to line ahead of Sergio Aguero throughout this year's FA Cup and had the confidence to play him again today in such a huge game.
The Brazilian repaid Guardiola for his trust with two goals, an assist, as well as constantly causing problems for Cathcart and Adrien Mariappa throughout. City’s depth will undoubtedly not be an issue as they go again on all fronts next season.
Disappointing end for Hornets
This season had the potential to be an incredible one for Watford. Flying in the top half of the league as well as achieving a tremendous cup run. Unfortunately, in the latter stages, they’ve fallen away.
Perhaps due to fatigue following a long, hard season, Gracia’s men ended up winning none of their last four league games, resulting in just missing out on the top 10 whilst also now losing the cup final.
With this being said, the future does look bright under Gracia. The league will again be the priority next campaign, although this cup experience could do the Londoners well, giving them the belief that they can push on and look to qualify for Europe in future.