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        Hat-trick hero puts City four points clear

        Sterling treble stings Hornets

        2019/03/10 00:19
        By Playmaker

        Raheem Sterling scored a second-half hat-trick, including a controversial opener, as Manchester City beat Watford 3-1 to move four points clear in the title race.

        Sterling's first goal, 40 seconds after half-time, was initially ruled out for offside but after a long discussion, referee Paul Tierney overturned his own decision.

        There was no disputing the legality of Sterling's second goal, which came only four minutes later when he tapped in Riyad Mahrez's cross at the far post after a flowing City move.

        And, just before the hour mark, the 24-year-old England forward made it 3-0, running on to a David Silva pass and cutting past two defenders before slotting home his 18th goal of the season.

        Watford got a consolation when substitutes Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu combined with their first touches for the Spaniard to score.

        City have 74 points, having played one more than Liverpool. Watford remain eighth on 43 points.

        Pep Guardiola: "Next season we won't be having this conversation and we will be clear. In the beginning of the season we voted for VAR to help referees, but many clubs didn't want it. I guess we are going to drop points, because it is almost impossible if we go ahead in all competitions not to drop points."

        Javi Gracia: "In this moment, we have 26 players available and all of them deserve to play. As you can see, they have competed well. It is good for us to compete today. There are eight games left and the FA Cup. This is the best news for us, to have 26 players ready to compete and all of them trying to help the team."

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        classic matches
        U Saturday, 09 March 2019 - 17:30
        Etihad Stadium
        Paul Tierney
        Raheem Sterling 46' 50' 59'
        Gerard Deulofeu 66'