Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling delivered the goods as Manchester City beat Watford 3-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

With Chelsea losing to West Ham United earlier in the day, Manchester City had the chance to go to the top of the Premier League table. And the visitors were on the money from the get-go, as after Aymeric Laporte had a header cleared away in the second minute, Raheem Sterling scored in the fourth after getting a low cross from Phil Foden to make it 1-0.

Manchester City continued to push for more goals after that, only for Daniel Bachmann to stand in their way time and again. However, the Watford goalkeeper’s resistance ended at the half-hour mark, as Bernardo Silva produced a brilliant finish from an acute angle at the end of a swift counter-attacking move.

Silva was on target for a second time shortly after the hour mark as the relentless Manchester City were in no mood to stop at just a two-goal lead. However, Watford scored the game’s final goal through Cucho Hernandez, who tapped the ball into the net after his initial shot had hit the woodwork.

The result means Manchester City are the new table-toppers in the Premier League, with Liverpool second following their late win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, leaving Chelsea in the third spot. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Pep Guardiola’s men.

Ederson Moraes: 6/10

Ederson will count himself unlucky to have lost the clean sheet as he stood no chance at denying Cucho Hernandez late in the game. Otherwise, he did not have much to do in the game apart from one solid stop to deny Emmanuel Dennis.

Kyle Walker: 7/10

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Walker did not have much defending to do on the day, with Joao Pedro being sub-par. That gave him the chance to move forward a lot more than he usually does, ultimately enabling him to assist Bernardo Silva for his second. On top of that, he hardly ever lost the ball, completing all but four of his 106 attempted passes. Job well done.

Ruben Dias: 7/10

It was a rare game in which Dias was not the superior of the Manchester City defenders. Nonetheless, the Portuguese international remained largely solid throughout the proceedings and helped build the play up from the back efficiently, making a mockery of the Watford press.

Aymeric Laporte: 8/10

Laporte’s fine run in the Manchester City side continues, with his dismissal against Crystal Palace proving to be a mere blip. Against Watford on Saturday, the Spanish international hardly put a foot wrong, winning six duels and completing six interceptions while also coming close to scoring once. John Stones will have a hard time winning his spot back.

Joao Cancelo: 8/10

Cancelo had a few iffy moments against Emmanuel Dennis, but on the whole, this was another convincing performance by him. The Portuguese international was yet again a delight to watch on the ball. However, he did not create a chance this time around. He did some solid work defensively, winning five duels while completing three interceptions, two tackles and two clearances.

Bernardo Silva: 10/10

It seems unthinkable that Bernardo Silva was at the brink at Manchester City in the summer transfer window and could have left the club. Now, it is hard to imagine a City starting lineup without him in it. The Portuguese international produced a classy performance, with the finishes for both his goals being nothing short of magnificent.

At the same time, Silva also engineered a joint-game-high four key passes, and he also completed three tackles. There is no better all round performer in the game at the moment, as Silva continues his brilliant turnaround at Manchester City.

Rodri: 8/10

2021/22 is proving Rodri’s season at Manchester City, with the Spaniard continuing to prove himself to be Fernandinho’s true successor. Against Watford, he produced a no-nonsense showing, hardly ever letting the hosts play around him. At the same time, he retained a brilliant passing rate of 93 per cent, which enabled Manchester City to dominate the game to their liking.

Ilkay Gundogan: 8/10

One of several Manchester City players who have suddenly stepped up their games. On Saturday, Gundogan pulled the strings beautifully from the middle of the park, all while also playing three key passes. Gundogan even came close to scoring once, but the miss was only a mere blip in a top-notch display.

Raheem Sterling: 8/10

The Player to Watch in our preview, Sterling, continued his good run of form with another goal. This time, he was positioned perfectly to convert Phil Foden’s low cross early in the game, and he could have scored more goals, in all fairness. Nevertheless, Sterling is taking steps in the right direction and seems to be turning his fortunes around superbly.

Jack Grealish: 7/10

Back in the starting lineup and deployed through the centre, Grealish showed better movement and chemistry with his teammates. The English international had the freedom to roam around the final third, which beautifully brought Sterling and Foden into the game. However, his finishing was not up to the mark on the day, which could be stemming from low self-confidence.

Phil Foden: 8/10

It was a stunning performance by Foden, who was the most potent outlet in the game for City. The Englishman played the joint-game-high four key passes, including the assist for Sterling’s goal. More impressively, he completed each of his attempted passes, despite being so creative, and the only reason he does not get a higher rating is because he failed to convert a chance that came his way.

SUBSTITUTES

Kevin De Bruyne: 6/10

On for Gundogan, De Bruyne continued from where the German international had left off and pulled the strings smartly in the game’s final quarter.

Riyad Mahrez: 6/10

Manchester City went into cruise control mode in the final quarter of an hour, which meant Mahrez did not get too many chances to showcase his best qualities.

Gabriel Jesus: N/A

On for Foden, Jesus was lively in the final quarter of an hour but did not have any chances to score.

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