Gabriel Jesus put rumours surrounding his future to one side, as the Manchester City forward became the first Brazilian in Premier League history to net four goals in one game in a 5-1 rout over Championship bound Watford.
Story of the Match
An early goal would've been top of Pep Guardiola's agenda, especially given the sides difficulties in breaking down a stubborn Brighton outfit on Wednesday night. That is exactly what they got, as Gabriel Jesus turned home Zinchenko's cross to give the Citizens the lead within four minutes.
Jesus, who is widely expected to leave the club in the summer once the Citizens finalise the signing of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, looked fired up by the speculation surrounding his future, and he soon grabbed a second, heading home Kevin De Bruyne's deep cross to double his sides advantage.
Despite being convincingly outplayed for the opening 25 minutes, Watford found themselves back in the game as Hassane Kamara finished off a fine team move, firing low past Ederson, who will feel he should've done better.
The home side retained their two goal advantage just before half-time, as Rodri added to his collection of thunderous strikes with a fierce effort from the edge of the box that left Watford keeper Ben Foster with no chance.
Cutting into Liverpool's superior goal difference would've bene on the Citizens minds as they took to the pitch for the second half, and they were handed a golden opportunity to do so as they earnt themselves a penalty a mere 15 seconds into the second period, as Foster brought down Jesus inside the area.
After a lengthy VAR check the penalty was awarded, and Jesus made no mistake in sending Foster the wrong way to secure himself a first hat-trick of the season and all but end any slim hopes of a Watford comeback.
The Brazilian wasn't done there though, his three became four five minutes later as he turned home Raheem Sterlings cutback and in doing so, created his own little slice of history in becoming the first Brazilian to score four goals in a single Premier League game.
The healthy lead allowed Pep Guardiola to offer some extra rest to Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Aymeric Laporte ahead of their UCL semi-final clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday, with Nathan Ake, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan all sent on to stretch their legs.
Watford pressed for a late consolation and perhaps should've got one as Joao Pedro headed wide from close range. The defeat is Watford's fourth on the spin and whilst they aren't mathematically relegated just yet, the Hornets chance of survival looks bleak. They sit seven points adrift of 17th placed Everton, who have two games in hand over Roy Hodgson's men.
City meanwhile move themselves four points clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, the hunting party will look to reduce the gap back to one point when they welcome Merseyside rivals Everton to Anfield tomorrow afternoon.