Raheem Sterling was the hat-trick hero as Manchester City opened up a four-point gap at the top of the Premier League, as Pep Guardiola's team continue their pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple of trophies. The goal was initially ruled out for offside by the linesman but the decision was overturned by referee Paul Tierney; a controversial moment to say the least.
But his dead-eyed ruthlessness to capitalise, taking the game away from Watford and moving on to 15 Premier League goals this season again underlined the impressive strides the former Liverpool man has taken under Guardiola.
Sterling was in an offside position when the ball was chested through to him by Sergio Aguero and as the striker moved to strike with his right foot, a challenge from Daryl Janmaat meant the ball cannoned against his left leg and past Ben Foster.
"The first half was difficult even for myself, it was hard to break them down, " Sterling said.
"At the beginning of the season, Manchester City voted to install VAR. We got it and it kick started our game".
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The US-based owners of Crystal Palace are also said to have been central to the calls for a probe, with American sports typically accustomed to strict financial guidelines and conduct. Other clubs didn't accept that. I am a little bit anxious about this change from the first half to the second half - it's only one thing, it's mental.
Manchester City won the Premier League in the 2017-18 season and are now seated at the top of the table.
"At the moment Aguero touched the ball Sterling is in an offside position, a clear offside position, maybe two metres".
"Today, in my opinion, it is clear", he said. "After that, it is true the defender touches the ball, but he touches it because Sterling is close to him and is going to press him".
Tottenham Hotspur shot-stopper Hugo Lloris made several saves in the first half to deny Borussia Dortmund before Harry Kane scored in the second half to give Spurs a 1-0 win and a 4-0 aggregate victory.
City were the much better team in their game against the Hornets but the score remained goalless at half-time in what was a largely frustrating game for the home side.
The introduction of Troy Deeney and Gerard Delofeu immediately paid dividents for the visitors as the pair combined within thirty seconds of coming on for Delofeu to pull one back in the 66th minute.