Raheem Sterling‘s 13-minute hat-trick helped Manchester City beat Watford 3-1 and open up a four point gap over Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.
City came into this match in good form, having won their previous five matches — however, they had appeared nervy in their previous two encounters, having won each just 1-0.
And it look to be another tense affair for Pep Guardiola’s men after a goalless first half. But 60 seconds after the interval, Sterling found the back of the net after Sergio Aguero had chested it into the England international’s path.
At first, it appeared the effort had been disallowed due to an offside flag. However, after a three minute delay, referee Paul Tierney overruled linesman Adrian Holmes and awarded the goal.
And Sterling completed his hat-trick and secured the three points just before the hour mark when he crept in behind Daryl Janmaat to collect Bernardo Silva‘s exquisite through ball and slot past Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster.
The third goal was Sterling’s 15th of the season in the Premier League, and he is just three behind teammate and leading marksman Aguero.
Watford stay eighth after the defeat, while City will finish the weekend in first place regardless of Liverpool’s result against Burnley on Sunday