Manchester City completed an historic domestic Treble by crushing Watford in the Emirates FA Cup Final.
Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus each bagged a brace with David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne also on the scoresheet in the joint-biggest win in Cup Final history, equalling Bury’s 6-0 dismissal of Derby County in 1903.
Pep Guardiola’s imperious side, who finished 48 points clear of Watford in the Premier League, dominated proceedings throughout and the result never looked in doubt once David Silva had broken the deadlock on 26 minutes.
- Emirates FA Cup Final
- Saturday 18 May 2019
- at Wembley Stadium
The result means Manchester City are the first club to win the Premier League, the League Cup and the FA Cup in the same season, and they join their Women’s side and Arsenal Ladies in completing a domestic Treble.
The match opened with a flurry of corners for City and it was from the third flag-kick where the game’s first chance came about – for Watford.
The Hornets cleared Riyad Mahrez’s centre and countered at speed, Gerard Deulofeu racing down the right before finding Pereyra breaking down the centre. The Argentine’s low drive was saved by the legs of his South American counterpart Ederson.
Soon after, the Yellows had claims for a penalty dismissed by referee Kevin Friend after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s shot hit Vincent Kompany. Doucoure was booked for his protests.
Then came the moment all Watford fans feared as City took the lead.
England international Sterling had his shot blocked by Adrian Mariappa just outside the box but he recovered quickly to nod the ball into David Silva’s path, and the majestic Spaniard did the rest, sweeping an angled shot beyond Gomes.
That goal lifted Guardiola’s men, who began to assert their considerable authority, and they made it 2-0 before the break as Jesus nipped ahead of Kiko Femenia to prod home Bernardo Silva’s delightful in-swinging cross.
Gomes, appearing in what could be his last-ever match before retirement, kept Watford in the game just moments after the restart by denying compatriot Jesus at the near post. From the subsequent corner, the City striker had his header ruled out for offside.
Just a few minutes later, however, De Bruyne, on for Mahrez, did put the game to bed by finishing off a rapid counter-attack. Sterling fed Jesus, who in turn found his Belgian team-mate – and de Bruyne was coolness personified as he dummied Gomes before smashing home City’s third.
Jesus, the semi-final match-winner against Brighton, slipped the ball underneath Gomes for City’s fourth on 68 minutes – and there was still more to come as Sterling completed an emphatic victory late on, first by tapping home Bernardo Silva’s cross at the back post, then by turning home a de Bruyne centre from close range to help City’s class of 2019 etch their names in history.
Manchester City (4-3-3): 31 Ederson; 2 Kyle Walker, 4 Vincent Kompany (capt), 14 Aymeric Laporte, 35 Oleksandr Zinchenko; 20 Bernardo Silva, 8 Ilkay Gundogan, 21 David Silva; 26 Riyad Mahrez, 33 Gabriel Jesus; 7 Raheem Sterling.
Substitutes: 17 Kevin de Bruyne for Mahrez 55, 19 Leroy Sane for Gundogan 73, 5 John Stones for David Silva 79.
Substitutes not used: 49 Aro Muric, 3 Danilo, 10 Sergio Aguero, 30 Nicolas Otamendi.
Goals: David Silva 26, Sterling 81, 87, De Bruyne 61, Jesus 38, 68
Bookings: David Silva
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Watford (4-4-1-1): 1 Heurelho Gomes; 21 Kiko Femenia, 6 Adrian Mariappa, 15 Craig Cathcart, 25 Jose Holebas; 19 Will Hughes, 29 Etienne Capoue, 16 Abdoulaye Doucoure, 37 Roberto Pereyra; 7 Gerard Deulofeu; 9 Troy Deeney (capt).
Substitutes: 10 Isaac Success for Pereyra 66, 18 Andre Gray for Deulofeu 66, 8 Tom Cleverley for Hughes 73.
Substitutes not used: 26 Ben Foster, 2 Daryl Janmaat, 11 Adam Masina, 27 Christian Kabasele.
Bookings: Doucoure, Femenia
Head coach: Javi Gracia
Referee: Kevin Friend