By Associated Press - Saturday, September 21, 2019

MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Bernardo Silva scored a hat trick as Manchester City thrashed Watford 8-0 on Saturday, falling one goal short of tying the record for the heaviest victory in Premier League history.

There were also goals for David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi and Kevin De Bruyne at Etihad Stadium, as the champions demolished the last-place team in the league.

Manchester United’s 9-0 win over Ipswich in 1995 remains the biggest victory since the Premier League began in 1992. It was City’s record win in that time, however.

City led 5-0 after 18 minutes and 7-0 after 60 minutes, putting United’s record at risk. After De Bruyne scored in the 85th minute, City’s fans urged their team forward, even encouraging goalkeeper Ederson to shoot.

It was the perfect reaction from City, which was celebrating its 125th anniversary, to last weekend’s surprising 3-2 loss at Norwich.

City could even have had more as the team racked up 28 attempts on goal, including two that hit the goal frame.

In its nine previous meetings since Watford was promoted to the top flight in 2014, City had scored 31 goals - including a 6-0 thrashing in last season’s FA Cup final that completed an unprecedented domestic treble.

City’s players were even more rampant than at Wembley Stadium, where it took 26 minutes to score the first goal.

David Silva notched the first goal after just 52 seconds, applying the simple finishing touch from a typically sublime right-wing cross from De Bruyne.

Aguero doubled City’s lead from the penalty spot on seven minutes after Mahrez was brought down by Ben Foster.

Mahrez was tripped again on the edge of the area five minutes later and he stepped up to fire in the resulting free kick, albeit with the aid of a big deflection off Tom Cleverley.

Bernardo Silva made it 4-0 with a simple diving header after Otamendi flicked on a corner and the Argentina defender himself grabbed the fifth soon after when Watford switched off at a set piece. Aguero broke free to set up his countryman with a low cross to the far post.

City did not score again until the second half but could easily have been leading 8-0 at the break as Aguero shot wide when through on goal and then hit the post before forcing a good save from Foster.

Normal service was resumed after the restart as Bernardo Silva grabbed two more to claim a hat trick. Both were simple finishes in front of goal after being teed up by David Silva and De Bruyne, respectively.

Aguero put another shot wide and Mahrez then headed against the bar as City showed the visitors little respite.

De Bruyne claimed the eighth with a thumping shot into the roof of the net five minutes from time and the Belgian almost made it a record-equaling nine moments later but dragged his shot wide.


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