Watford manager Gianfranco Zola, twice an FA Cup winner as a player, predicted his team would be dangerous opponents for the 2011 winners, especially considering their fine league record away from home.
Watford almost caught City napping straight from the kick-off as Fernando Forestieri beat the home offside trap to go one-on-one with Costel Pantilimon but the big keeper stood firm to keep out the shot out with his feet.
It is easy to see why Watford are going so well in the Championship. As might be expected of a Gianfranco Zola team, they have some lively attackers and ideas. Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany had their hands full with Matej Vydra, who embarrassed the City central defenders for pace in the opening few minutes. Trying to play on the break only resulted in the visitors finding themselves pushed on to the back foot, however, allowing City to keep rolling forward.
In a game where City enjoyed by far the most possession and spent long periods laying siege to the Watford goalmouth, the Championship side managed to create the two clearest opportunities of the afternoon, and missed them both.