Pep Guardiola’s men could have actually gone 1-0 down, but recovered to put on a destructive performance
Manchester City became the first men’s team in English history to win a domestic treble after smashing Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup Final.
Pep Guardiola’s rampant side equalled the biggest ever winning margin in an FA Cup Final – becoming only the third team in history to score six in the oldest cup final.
While European dominance has evaded the Citizens, winning all three domestic trophies available this season has sent a message to their Premier League rivals that it will take something special to dethrone them.
City looked bright in the early exchanges and Craig Cathcart did well to cut out a dangerous Bernardo Silva ball after some half-chances.
But Watford had the best chance in the 11th minute. Winning possession from a City corner, Abdoulaye Doucoure burst down the flank and firing forward to Gerard Deulofeu.
Guardiola’s men were caught out as the semi-final hero cut across to the unmarked Roberto Pereyra, only for Ederson to rush out to the edge of the box and save.
That moment gave Watford hope and skipper Troy Deeney’s presence at the front was proving an ideal unsettling force.
From his 21st-minute knock down, the Hornets attacked and Pereyra reacted to a block by smartly directing into the path of Doucoure to unleash a fizzing shot that hit Vincent Kompany’s arm.
Watford players and fans were incensed not to see a spot-kick awarded given the video assistant referee could intervene at Wembley and matters would soon get worse for them.
Raheem Sterling rose impressively to head through to David Silva, who slotted past Gomes. Watford screamed for offside but Cathcart was playing him on.
Mariappa got back to well to make a timely tackle soon after but City now had their tails up.
Bernardo Silva has been a joy to watch this season and his exceptional ball to the far post found Gabriel Jesus, who directed into an empty net as Sterling made sure of the goal on the line.
It was a 38th-minute blow that even quietened Watford’s superb support as City held their 2-0 lead at the break.
Gomes denied Jesus with his feet when played resumed and the Brazil international thought he had scored from the resulting corner, only to be correctly called offside.
Aymeric Laporte headed wide as City pushed for a third, while Deulofeu snatched at his shot when the chance to reduce the deficit came at the other end.
The final was all but over in the 61st minute when City raced forward. Jesus darted through and showed good composure to lay off to Kevin De Bruyne, who turned away from Gomes to direct into the net.
There was debate about who scored the second goal but Jesus was definitely the scorer of the fourth. Running from the halfway line, he slotted past Gomes in front of the City hordes.
Showing no mercy, City added a fifth to pile on Watford’s misery as Bernardo Silva whipped in a delicious ball for Raheem Sterling to slam into the roof of the net.
And the England international completed his hat-trick as Watford’s collapse continued. His initial shot was tipped onto the post, but he reacted to turn home.
Man of the match
Although he was not included from the start, the Belgium international somehow managed to find an extra gear for Pep Guardiola’s men and change the game.
Although the scoreline was 2-0 when he was introduced, Watford were beginning to get a foothold in the game.
But the former Chelsea midfielder was relentless in his pressing and his technical ability saw him stand out – even in this wickedly talented City side.