Manchester City’s nervous finish in an otherwise comfortable win at Watford showed “you can never relax in the Premier League”, according to manager Pep Guardiola.
The reigning champions had controlled Tuesday’s game and led through goals from Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez but Abdoulaye Doucoure scrambled in for Watford in the 85th minute to give the hosts hope of an unlikely comeback.
Watford sent goalkeeper Ben Foster forward for set-pieces in a frantic finish, with Guardiola introducing defensive reinforcements to deal with the pressure, but the visitors held on for their seventh successive league win.
The win saw City re-establish their five-point lead at the top of the table, which could be cut to two when Liverpool play Burnley on Wednesday.
“We were much the better side – we deserved to win but you have to kill,” Guardiola said.
“It is never over at 2-0, you need the third goal.
“In the last few minutes they had chances. For five minutes they were better than us.
“You can never relax in the Premier League, that’s why it is nice.”