Manchester City vs Watford: Five Things We Learned As Pep Guardiola's Team Eases to Top of Premier League

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero, center, celebrates at Vicarage Road, Watford, England, September 16. Dan Mullan/Getty

Deja vu flowed around Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon as Pep Guardiola's Manchester City tore through Watford for the second time in four months, winning 6-0.

Talk ahead of this season was whether Sergio Aguero was being eased out at City, unthinkable though it was. Gabriel Jesus was the new man brought in by Guardiola, the future at the Etihad Stadium.

But the two men have been able to work together, to Guardiola's delight. Here, they worked in tandem, with Aguero scoring a hat-trick and Jesus grabbing a goal before half-time as well. Nicolas Otamendi scored the fourth, and Raheem Sterling converted a late penalty to take City to the top of the league.

Here, Newsweek looks at five things we learned from City's demolition of Watford:

City's Deadly Duo Fully Firing Ominously

The trend, increasingly, in the Premier League is to play three center-backs and two wing-backs. Antonio Conte brought the idea to English shores from Italy, taking Chelsea to the title in his first season in the league. A majority of teams have played a version of the system so far this season, but for any team coming up against Guardiola's City they may need four center backs to contend with his deadly duo up front of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. Prior to kick-off, the two men had seven goals between them in five games in all competitions (Aguero 3; Jesus 4), and the trip to Vicarage Road saw a flurry of additions. The suggestion before the start of the season was that Guardiola would have to pick one of the two strikers to lead the line, and he did. Jesus seemed to be the preferred striker. But, as City arrived in Hertfordshire second in the Premier League table, Aguero and Jesus started alongside each other for the third game in a row. By full-time, Aguero had scored his fourth, fifth and six goals of the season, grabbing a hat-trick, with Jesus also adding to his tally, reaching five for the season. These are ominous signs for the rest of the Premier League, which may be looking at one of the most lethal partnerships the league has ever seen.

Crash Back To Earth For Marco Silva's Men

Victory for Marco Silva's team on Saturday would have seen Watford not only leapfrog Manchester City, but also finish the day at the top of the Premier League. There was an opportunity to sit at the top of English football for the first time since September 1982 when Marco Silva was five years old. It wasn't to be, though. It looked unlikely prior to kick off due to the powerful opposition, and it looked out of reach just after the half-hour mark when City was two goals ahead. While Watford were lacklustre, City were domineering. Guardiola's men took the sting out of the Hornets fine start to the season, having gone unbeaten and reached fourth in the table. By half-time the game was over. City had enjoyed 70 percent of possession, with 14 shots to Watford's two. Andre Gray was a frustrated figure at the top of Watford's attack, surrounded by purple jerseys.

De Bruyne at the Heart of Everything Good For City

Back in Manchester, in Pep Guardiola's press conference ahead of this game, the Spaniard was effusive over his most creative of playmakers. Guardiola described De Bruyne as "one of the best players" he has ever seen, "in terms of how he can make absolutely everything." High praise, indeed, from a man who spent three years with Lionel Messi. And De Bruyne was at his creative best here, at the heart of everything good for City going forward. He has been given license by Guardiola to roam, and he did, acting as the link from defense to attack for City. With Jesus and Aguero in front of him, as well as David Silva and Raheem Sterling alongside him, De Bruyne had a continuous wealth of options to pick from. He is rarely wasteful with the ball, finding teammate and teammate, and received huge applause from the away fans when he was replaced by Ilkay Gundogan just after the hour-mark. Continue this way and there is no doubt De Bruyne will be among the contenders for Player of the Year.

Stones' Development More Than Creativity

When John Stones completed his move to the Etihad Stadium, all the talk was of how Pep Guardiola would be able to nurture his creative ability. The former Barcelona manager could fine tune Stones into the English version of Gerard Pique. But Stones, who turned 23 in May, has shown growth in other areas. However much the Everton fans enjoyed Stones' ability, the groans came frequently when the young center back relied on his ability to get out of a sticky situation at the back. All too often for the Goodison Park crowd Stones scoffed at the opportunity to take the easy option and put the ball into the top of the stands. That looks to be changing under Guardiola. Indeed, an early ball over the top to Watford's new frontman Andre Gray just slipped away from the striker. Instead of looking to play out, Stones sent the ball into the top of The Graham Taylor Stand. There was little more for Stones to do on an afternoon in which all the action was for City's attacking men.

Pep Guardiola's Men Put On a Show For Elton

Elton John was joined by his family at Vicarage Road to see how his beloved Watford would fare against Pep Guardiola's City. The Spaniard met John before kick-off but it was he who put on the show for one of the world's greatest entertainers. After tearing through the Hornets, it was Guardiola's men who went away thinking Saturday night's alright.