Manchester City vs. Watford: 5 Things We Learned
Manchester City entertained Watford on Saturday in the third round of the FA Cup and progressed with a 3-0 win.
City has had a disappointing season, falling seven points behind Manchester United in the EPL title race. The Citizens were also knocked out of all European competition with some particularly poor showings in the Champions League.
Watford recently climbed up the Championship table with some good results and were looking to make it a difficult game for City.
Here are five things we learned from Manchester City vs. Watford.
1. Manchester City Taking FA Cup Seriously
With a difficult Premier League title chase and no European competition, the FA Cup would provide City with a good chance at silverware.
Manchester City already has a strong and deep squad to begin with, but it seems Roberto Mancini wanted to make a statement in this game.
Managers at top sides usually use the FA Cup to give younger players and fringe players a run-out.
City was basically at full strength to face Watford at home, and it would've been interesting to see if Sergio Aguero would have been in the starting lineup had he been fit.
Injuries to Aleksander Kolarov, Maicon, Jack Rodwell and Micah Richards probably made it easier for Mancini to use his strongest side.
Still, a few of the players such as Denis Suarez and Scott Sinclair could have started in place of others.
2. No Fairy Tale for Watford
Anyone hoping for a shocking FA Cup win for Watford was left sorely disappointed.
The Hornets started off the game brightly, but Manchester City soon took over and showed their class.
The Citizens controlled the game as expected with the majority of possession and faced few nervy moments.
Watford certainly had their chances, with 10 shots on goal, five on target. But the end result was inevitable once Carlos Tevez scored.
Had Fernando Forestieri scored and equalized for the club right after Tevez's opener, it may have been a different game.
3. Carlos Tevez Becomes the Leading Light in Attack for City Again
Carlos Tevez has been in top form for City this season.
While Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero have all dealt with various issues, Tevez has been going strong. He leads the club in goals produced, with a healthy eight goals and five assists.
His brilliant free-kick started the scoring for the home side, and he was involved in everything good for his side on the day.
If Tevez can keep up his form, the side may have a good chance of reeling in Manchester United in the title chase.
4. Watford Has Some Solid Young Players
Technically, the majority of Watford's bright young players aren't actually Watford players. The club has a number of players on loan from Udinese as well as other clubs, and they've been decent additions.
Matej Vydra and Joel Ekstrand are two such players who had OK performances, considering the opposition and the result.
The 20-year-old Vydra is actually tied for the club's leading scoring lead. Ekstrand did a decent job in central defense compared to some of his more experienced counterparts.
The one player who is a Watford product is Jonathan Bond. The young goalkeeper could do little about the three goals, but was in control for the majority of the game.
Nathaniel Chalobah, on loan from Chelsea, showed good energy and worked tirelessly in midfield.
5. Mario Balotelli Had an Impressive Cameo
Everyone was waiting to see how Mario Balotelli would react following his reported bust-up with Roberto Mancini during the week. Balotelli didn't score but had a very solid 20 minutes on the pitch.
The Italian striker had three shots, all of them on target, and one of those shots led to Marcos Lopes' debut goal.
That type of reaction and performance is what is necessary for the Italian striker to become the top player many expect he can be.