Manchester City fans chanted ‘Raheem Sterling as the £49million winger scored his first goal for the club and maintained their blistering 100 per cent start to the season.
The likelihood is those supporters will be able to carry on with their ditty uninterrupted for the next nine months.
City have won all four matches to date, scoring 10 and conceding none. Their best players are all performing well; particularly the spine of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero.
And they have the final piece in the jigsaw, £54million winger Kevin de Bruyne from Wolfsburg, about to arrive after having a medical in Manchester on Saturday.
In his programme notes, manager Manuel Pellegrini wrote that ‘everything has gone to plan so far’. He’s not kidding. City stand three points clear at the top and have now won a club record 10 league games in a row, including the six at the back end of the last campaign.
A routine home victory against newly-promoted Watford – who were well-organised and deserved going into the half-time break goalless – will not go down in the annals of club history, but it will always be remembered sweetly in the Sterling household.
After the rancour of his summer move from Liverpool, the young man was able to show what he can do on the pitch, capped by a nonchalant volleyed finish from Bacary Sagna’s cross that broke the deadlock two minutes after the interval. The normally understated Pellegrini was able to pat himself on the back for making the half-time change – Samir Nasri for Jesus Navas – that allowed Sterling to move from the left to partner Aguero up front.
‘I think it was important to make the change at half time,’ said Pellegrini. ‘ We had possession before then but not many chances. So we changed it, we needed someone closer to Kun (Aguero) and we returned to 4-4-2!
For a player who has always talked about the need to score more goals, Sterling will be relieved to end a 10-game scoreless streak dating back to mid-April when he was at Anfield. The way he met Sagna’s cross first-time and virtually passed it into the net indicated a player high on technique and confidence.
He also had two good efforts on goal, one blocked and one saved by Gomes, and was cheered when he diligently tracked back to foil a breakaway by Watford winger Odion Ighalo.
Watford did themselves credit against a team like City. Their first three matches back in the Premier League ended with draws against Everton, West Brom and Southampton, but this was a step up in class.