Watford – Manchester City: Mahrez fires City to victory despite late scare (1-2)
Manchester City were dominant as ever, but it took until just before half-time for them to open up the scoring. Riyad Mahrez netted just after the break to make it 2-0. At this point it seemed like a routine win for City, but a late Abdoulaye Doucouré goal made for an uncomfortable ending for Pep Guardiola’s side, who managed to hold onto their win nonetheless.
Tactical analysis by Josh Manley.
The last two times Guardiola’s side had visited Vicarage Road, they won 5-0 and 6-0. And even though Watford’s manager Javi Gracia naturally wanted to prevent another shellacking, his team’s recent form can be considered quite worrisome, as Watford had two wins in their last eleven games leading up to this one.
Watford made a couple of changes to their lineup, compared to their 2-0 defeat against Leicester City. Gerard Deulofeu and the suspended Étienne Capoue were replaced by Troy Deeney and Nathaniel Chalobah, as Gracia went for a 4-3-3 formation in this game.
For City, there was a completely different back four from last weekend’s win over Bournemouth. Danilo, Nicolás Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte and Oleksandr Zinchenko all made way. Replacing them were Kyle Walker, John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph. Ilkay Gündogan and Raheem Sterling were also out, making way for David Silva and Riyad Mahrez in City’s customary 4-3-3 formation.
Manchester City's positioning and general movements when in possession, which shows their different approach on either flank.
Watford pinned back but remain compact
City played in their familiar possession-based approach, with Bernardo . . .