Six goals. Three trophies. One historic season for Manchester City.
Led by braces from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, the Premier League and League Cup champions completed the domestic treble on Saturday at Wembley by beating Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final.
City edged Liverpool to retain the Premier League title last Sunday, and dispatched Chelsea in an eventful League Cup final in late February. It’s the first time an English club has won all three national trophies on offer in a single season in the men’s game.
The Arsenal Ladies actually accomplished the feat first in 2007, which City manager Pep Guardiola pointed out earlier in the week.
That said, there was nothing second-best on Saturday about City, which tied the record for biggest margin of victory in an FA Cup final. Sterling played a part in David Silva’s opening goal, which showcased City’s ruthless ability to capitalize on the slightest mistakes.
Sterling’s ball forward was deflected into the air, headed back by Silva, then headed forward again by Sterling, and from there Silva finished from a tight angle around Heurelho Gomes (via ESPN):
David Silva fires into the bottom corner to give Manchester City the lead! 1-0! pic.twitter.com/N8XvU9UOxs— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 18, 2019
Gomes appeared to be slightly out of position, and Silva punished Watford for it.
The second goal arrived shortly before halftime, when Bernardo Silva played Gabriel Jesus’ run gorgeously down the left side of the box. Jesus’ touch appeared to send the ball over the line before Sterling crashed in to punctuate the moment.
That ball from Bernardo Silva ... 😍— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 18, 2019
Manchester City have a 2-0 lead at the half. pic.twitter.com/XFbkmpqQFF
By then the rout was on. Kevin de Bruyne, whose season has been hampered by injuries, replaced Riyad Mahrez in the 55th minute, and just after the hour mark de Bruyne scored the third goal with enough time to take a seat and grab a refreshment if he wanted:
Kevin De Bruyne taps home from close range for his sixth goal of the season!— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 18, 2019
Manchester City lead 3-0. pic.twitter.com/x9XsFq2g1L
Jesus scored again in the 68th minute, while Sterling completed the scoring with two goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation time.
And fair play to Watford, despite the score line. (In fact, it’s the best evidence Watford didn’t bunker back and try to eke out a trophy through penalties.) The talented Hornets finished comfortably mid-table in the Premier League for a reason, and actually had the better of the chances early on.
There was simply no stopping City this season in England. The Champions League is a different story; this treble will not only be celebrated, it will also heat the pressure on Guardiola and City to win Europe next season to white-hot levels (if they’re even allowed to participate). But there’s no denying this campaign is one of the greatest ever.
The “Blue Moon” is full. The neighbors are as noisy as ever. Manchester City is the standard.
Joey Gulino is the editor of Yahoo Soccer and moonlights as a writer. Follow him on Twitter at @JGulinoYahoo.
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