Manchester City fired a warning to the rest of the Premier League with a ruthless demolition job on Watford.
You can be brave and attack Pep Guardiola’s wonderful side. If you do it right, then you might just get something. Get it wrong, though, and there’s a danger you will be annihilated.
Essentially, if you come at the Premier League kings, you best not miss.
Norwich earned a shock win over City a week ago thanks to their workrate, organisation, boldness in possession, clinical finishing and a little bit of luck.
Basically, everything that Watford were lacking at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It finished 8-0 but could have been so much worse.
Even without a rested Raheem Sterling remaining on the bench throughout, City teased and tormented their visitors from every position on the pitch.
Watford’s only saving grace was that they somehow managed to avoid being on the wrong side of a Premier League record scoreline – Manchester United’s 9-0 win over Ipswich remains safe… for now.
There was a little piece of history for City, who went 5-0 up in just 18 minutes – also a record.
It took just 52 seconds for Kevin De Bruyne to get his trademark assist, the Belgian producing a cross of such quality and accuracy that it would have been almost impossible for David Silva to miss.
Five minutes later, the in-form Riyad Mahrez nipped around Watford’s defence to draw an unnecessary challenge from Ben Foster, leaving Aguero to convert the resulting penalty.
A deflected Mahrez free-kick followed before close-range finishes from Bernardo Silva and Nicolas Otamendi heaped more misery on Watford.
Hornets debutant Dimitri Foulquier was hauled off after 33 minutes as Quique Sanchez Flores tried in vain to try stem the goals but City were straight back at it after the break.
Bernardo completed his hat-trick by the hour mark before De Bruyne smashed in the goal of the day for City’s eighth.
He should have added a record-equalling ninth himself but somehow shot wide after brilliantly working an opportunity for himself in the area.
There were nothing but positives for Guardiola to take out of the game, though, particularly from a squad perspective.
There was a first start in the Premier League this season for Benjamin Mendy and he could hardly have wished for an easier reintroduction to the side.