With Chelsea experiencing defeat in the early kick-off, Pep Guardiola's side knew victory would be enough to leapfrog Chelsea and Liverpool to the summit and the Citizens played like a team on a mission at Vicarage Road stadium.
Goals from Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling put the game to bed well before Cucho Hernandez grabbed a consolation for the Hornets and after the match both managers acknowledged the gulf in class between both sides.
Pep Guardiola was full of praise for his side after witnessing three well-worked goals against Watford today but, ever the perfectionist, the Manchester City manager called for more composure in front of goal,
“We scored three beautiful goals and we could have scored more.”
“The game should be over quicker. We are in the routine that we’re consistent in the way we play. In football the most difficult thing is to put the ball in the net. But the way we played was really good again.
Praise for Bernardo Silva
On Man of the Match, Bernardo Silva, Guardiola expressed his appreciation,
“I want to say thank you, because after what I said [in midweek about Silva being the best in the league currently], the performance he has done – he didn’t make me wrong. So thank you. He did me well. He is so important for us.”
Looking at the positives
Watford Head Coach, Claudio Ranieri acknowledged that Watford were not at their best today but was keen to focus on the positives,
"Today we were maybe a little tired, we didn’t make combinations as well as we did against Chelsea, but it’s okay."
"I'm very confident. Of course we made mistakes and we have to work to improve these mistakes."
"If somebody some time ago told me against Man City, Chelsea and Man United, you will get three points, I would sign immediately. We had three fantastic performances, I'm satisfied."
Hope lives eternal for Ranieri
Whilst Watford's late consolation goal from Cucho Hernandez had little impact on the result, Ranieri was keen to highlight the spirit from which it was borne,
"I watched a good spirit. When we were down 3-0, we never gave up, we reacted and we scored. Yes we conceded a lot of counter attacks but I saw a lot of spirit together and commitment, I’m satisfied.
Premier League starts now for Watford
After a tough run of fixtures against Premier League title contenders, Ranieri's Watford now go into a run of games against their rivals in the table,
"I know now there’s a very good battle between six or seven teams for the battle to stay together in the Premier League.
"Our premier league starts now, we have to get some points."
That run of fixtures starts away to Brentford next Friday night and with just three points separating 17th and 11th, it could prove to be an early relegation six-pointer.