Man City extend lead at top, Palace end winless run

Kristopher Nichols
December 5, 2018

City manager Pep Guardiola made five changes after his team's hard-fought midweek draw at Lyon in the Champions League and it showed in a lethargic display in a first half that ended with Bournemouth level at 1-1.

City were camped in Watford's half for most of the first half and took the lead on 40 minutes as Leroy Sane chested home Riyad Mahrez's risky cross.

Javi Gracia has challenged his Watford players to upset the odds by derailing the Manchester City juggernaut on Tuesday night.

Bournemouth suffered its sixth loss of the season and provisionally holds the ninth spot with 20 points.

"So it's not because we play more games than the others".

Man-of-the-match Mahrez was denied by Foster's fine one-handed save late on, but a rare Watford attack then resulted in a goal as Doucoure bundled over the line after seeing his first effort blocked by Kyle Walker. "I think he was incredible last season, he played a lot of games because we had just one left winger, and he had an incredible season, but we'll see". Bournemouth created serious problems at the back for City, and Callum Wilson equalised on the verge of halftime with a powerful header from 10 yards.

Europe is a top priority for the club and Gundogan said the defeats to Jurgen Klopp's side last season showed how they can not afford any slip-ups if they are to win the Champions League.

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City has won 12 of its 14 league games.

"I don't have any information about the club, or if we are in trouble with Leroy [about not yet coming to an agreement]", Guardiola said.

"It's not easy, many players don't play and I've said many times this this is the toughest period - it's the toughest situation", the boss added.

"I'm always confident but always doubtful at the same time because we don't start well many times".

The Reds fell behind to an early Stuart Armstrong strike and when Cedric doubled Southampton's lead from an excellent free-kick the signs looked ominous. With one of the best goals of the season in the Premier League, he did exactly that against Watford.

Sterling has made a habit of profiting against Bournemouth, and has now scored in each of his six Premier League appearances against them.

Crystal Palace beat Burnley 2-0 to end a run of eight matches without a win and there were victories for Leicester City, West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion.

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