Bernardo Silva scored a hat-trick as Pep Guardiola’s side ran riot to clinch their biggest league win since he took charge in 2016. They also hit the woodwork twice and continued to chase further goals until the end, but a record victory eluded them.
Quique Sánchez Flores took out Christian Kabesele and Andre Gray for Dimitri Foulquier and Adrian Mariappa, the manager perhaps wishing he had the roughhouse qualities of the injured Troy Deeney to give Otamendi and Fernandinho a differing challenge to that of Shakhtar Donetsk, whom City coasted past to a midweek 3-0 Champions League win.
There must have been moments out there when Quique Sanchez Flores will have wondered what he might have been doing this weekend had he not taken the call from Watford owner Gino Pozzo earlier this month: sitting on a beach, meeting old friends, undergoing painful dental surgery.
When I sent out the e-mail to our group asking who wanted tickets for this game, I couldn’t help noticing that there were more apologies for absence than usual. I can’t say that I blamed them as the memory of the cup final is still rather raw and, given our start to the season, this was not a game that I was looking forward to.
Jon and Mike took on the challenge of going dark to all media between 3pm and MOTD. Could they make it through the game, and the 5 hours afterwards, without seeing the score and what went down at the Etihad.