David Silva reveals son's premature birth is reason behind his absence

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Manchester City playmaker David Silva has announced his son is “fighting day by day” after being born prematurely.

Silva missed four of City’s five games prior to Tuesday’s Premier League win over Watford for what the club said were personal reasons.

The Spaniard posted a message on Twitter on Wednesday, which said: “I want to thank all of you for the love and good wishes received in the last few weeks, special thanks to my team mates, the manager and all at the club for understanding my situation.

“Also I want to share with you the birth of my son Mateo, who was born extremely preterm and is fighting day by day with the help of the medical team.”

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Man City vs Watford player ratings as de Bruyne scores a 9 and Richarlison gets a 5

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Manchester City returned to winning ways by easing to a 3-1 victory over Watford at the Etihad Stadium.

After seeing their 18-match run ended by a goalless draw with Crystal Palace, City needed only 38 seconds to find the net through Raheem Sterling.

A Christian Kabasele own goal soon made it two and Sergio Aguero’s third made sure of the points before Watford grabbed a consolation through Andre Gray.

Tweet of the match

– Injured City defender Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) enjoyed Sterling’s early opener.

Star man – Kevin De Bruyne

Probably the best news of the night for City was that De Bruyne was fit to start after Jason Puncheon’s horror tackle.

And the Belgian was at the heart of nearly all City’s best moments. He would have had a goal, too, but for a fine save from Heurelho Gomes, who tipped his first-half free-kick onto the bar.

Stat of the match

When Kabasele turned in De Bruyne’s cross he became only the seventh player in Premier League history to suffer the misfortune of scoring an own goal in the 13th minute of a game.

Moment of the match

After the disappointment of seeing their winning run come to an end on Sunday, an early goal was just what City wanted, and it could scarcely have come any earlier or been any more simple.

Just 38 seconds after kick-off, Leroy Sane sprinted away down the left and crossed for Sterling to tap into an empty net.

Ratings

Manchester City

Ederson 7 (out of 10)
Kyle Walker 7
Nicolas Otamendi 6
John Stones 7
Fabian Delph 6
Fernandinho 6
David Silva 7
Kevin De Bruyne 9
Raheem Sterling 7
Leroy Sane 7
Sergio Aguero 7

Subs

Danilo (for Stones, 67) 5
Yaya Toure (for Fernandinho, 71) 5
Bernardo Silva (for De Bruyne, 79) 5

Watford

Heurelho Gomes 6
Daryl Janmaat 6
Molla Wague 5
Christian Kabasele 6
Marvin Zeegelaar 5
Abdoulaye Doucoure 5
Ben Watson 5
Andre Carrillo 5
Etienne Capoue 5
Richarlison 5
Andre Gray 6

Subs

Tom Cleverley (for Capoue, 61) 6
Roberto Pereyra (for Watson, 61) 6
Jerome Sinclair (for Richarlison, 82) 5

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Kevin de Bruyne stars as Manchester City cruise to 3-1 win over Watford

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Kevin De Bruyne made a dramatic return to action as Manchester City eased back to winning ways with a convincing 3-1 victory over Watford.

The Belgian did not score but was the main architect as the Premier League leaders overcame Sunday’s rare blip at Crystal Palace with strikes from Raheem Sterling – after less than a minute – Sergio Aguero and a Christian Kabasele own goal.

De Bruyne had been highly doubtful for the clash at the Etihad Stadium after being carried off in the goalless draw at Selhurst Park – which ended City’s record-breaking run of 18 successive wins – but he played as if he had not been hurt at all.

Watford were outplayed by City for a second time this season, following a 6-0 hammering in September, but did manage a late consolation from Andre Gray on a cold and wet night.

The result did not seem in doubt from the moment Sterling prodded home the opener after just 38 seconds.

Leroy Sane was the early inspiration, bursting down the left and pulling the ball back for the England international to tap in his 18th of the season.

It was as if City had been affronted by the Palace result and were determined to take it out on the Hornets yet again.

Moments later John Stones, back in the side after 12 games out injured, should have doubled the lead but he lofted a straightforward chance over.

City’s seemingly inevitable second goal came after 13 minutes, this time De Bruyne delivering from the right and the unfortunate Kabasele sliding in to flick the ball beyond Heurelho Gomes.

De Bruyne went close to netting the third himself as Gomes tipped his free-kick onto the bar.

Further chances came as De Bruyne twice picked out Aguero but the Argentinian was denied by Gomes while David Silva – returning after missing four of the last five games – blazed over.

Watford, to their credit, did carve out some good openings. The best of them fell to Gray after he was played through by Etienne Capoue, but Ederson diverted his low shot wide.

City came out after the break looking for more goals, with Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi heading wide.

It came as no surprise when City did make it 3-0, De Bruyne again causing trouble with a wicked ball from the right. Gomes could not keep hold and gifted a simple chance for Aguero to poke in.

De Bruyne’s efforts deserved a goal and he again went close to getting one with a low drive that flashed by the outside of the post. It proved his final act, however, as he was substituted moments later.

Watford were already doomed to their seventh defeat in nine games but at least had the final say when Andre Carillo crossed from the right and Gray turned in.

They also wanted a late penalty when Roberto Pereyra went down under an Otamendi challenge but nothing was given

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