Final season: Pellegrini will step down as manager in the summer

Manuel Pellegrini’s side do not look like they can win the league, City players are going through the motions and other things we learned from Watford 1 Manchester City 2

By Editor Wayne Veysey

Pellegrini’s team are going backwards

Away from their Etihad Stadium comfort blanket, City are a bewilderingly mediocre team. A rare win on their travels cannot mask another rope away performance. Without Vincent Kompany to hector and rally from the back, too many City players are going through the motions, happy to turn it on at home in favourable circumstances but struggling to produce the goods in more difficult assignments. A first away win since mid-September cannot hide the fact that Pellegrini’s team have gone backwards this season.

Aguero still capable of magic

Anonymous for most of the match, the Argentine awoke from his slumber to head a clinical winner for his team. It was a crucial goal for team and player, given their recent difficulties, not least in this game. Aguero looked horribly rusty, just as he did at Arsenal and Leicester. The Argentine is normally back in the groove pretty quickly after an injury absence but that has not been the case this time. The hamstring and heel injuries that have disrupted Aguero’s season look like they have taken their toll and he will need far more game time before he is back to his scintillating best.

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Odion Ighalo has scored more league goals in 2015 than any other play in England's top four leagues
Yellow peril: Ighalo was the most prolific striker in England in 2015

Mangala is spooked by Ighalo

After a decent display against Leicester on Tuesday, Eliaquim Mangala was back to his most error-prone at Vicarage Road. He was given a beasting by Odion Ighalo, who deliberately stayed in the Frenchman’s channel and spooked him every time the ball was sent in their direction. Mangala was withdrawn in the final 15 minutes, and replaced by Wilfried Bony, as City chased

Toure can still pick his moments

With his third goal in four matches, Yaya Toure showed that he cannot be written off at this level. His emphatic left-foot volley, to level the scores, encapsulated all that is special about the Ivorian – power, technique and timing. It is clear that Toure is not the player he once was, but he remains a rare midfielder who can turn matches with jaw-dropping goals.

Blue-eyed boy: Aguero produced a piece of magic to win the match
Blue-eyed boy: Aguero produced a piece of magic to win the match

City send message to rest of Premier League

It might not have been pretty, but City got the job done and deserve credit for coming from behind to take three points. For most of the match, Pellegrini’s side looked anything but champions yet they sit just three points behind leaders Arsenal and remain very much in the title race.