Gomes holds fire on retirement

Heurelho Gomes remains undecided about his future plans and will take time to consider his position after Saturday's FA Cup mauling by Manchester City.

Watford's hopes of a first major trophy went up in smoke at Wembley, where an encouraging start tailed off as Pep Guardiola's men secured an historic domestic treble in style, thrashing Javi Gracia's side 6-0.

Gomes played his part in keep further goals from going in and, while he previously suggested he'll retire this summer, it now appears he has some thinking still to do.

Asked if he had made a final decision, Gomes said: "No, not yet.

"I have got to speak to the club and the club want to speak with me, so I will listen to them and see what is going to happen.

"If I am still able to do something for this club I will do it. But we need to speak, calm down and sit next week and see what the decision is."

The 38-year-old shot stopper admitted it was a painful loss on a big occasion for everyone involved with Watford.

"Yeah I feel disappointed with everybody else, but I feel proud of everyone at the club. We have come so far," he added.

"Of course the result is hard to take but we lost to the best team in the league and probably the best in the world, so I am so proud of these players, so proud of this club and the supporters.

"You could see that they are proud of us as well, they sing until the last minute. We need to keep going and yeah, we go again."

Gomes' former side Spurs are 14/5 to win the Champions League final against Liverpool on 1st June. The Reds are 19/20 while the draw is 5/2.

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Kompany confirms City departure

Veteran defender Vincent Kompany has played his last game for Manchester City, having skippered them to a unique domestic treble this season.

The 33-year-old Belgium international centre-back bows out in style, having featured in the 6-0 FA Cup final victory over Watford at Wembley on Saturday.

Kompany joined the Citizens in the summer of 2008 from Hamburg and has gone on to score 20 goals in 360 appearances in all competitions, having battled against a number of serious injuries during his time in Manchester.

During his 11-year stay at the Etihad Stadium, City have secured the Premier League title four times, as well as lifting the FA Cup on two occasions and winning the League Cup four times.

Kompany told his club's official website: "As overwhelming as it is, the time has come for me to go and what a season to bow out.

"I feel nothing but gratefulness. I am grateful to all those who supported me on a special journey at a very special club.

"I will never forget how all Man City supporters remained loyal to me in good times and especially bad times. Against the odds you have always backed me and inspired me to never give up."

This season Kompany was restricted to 16 appearances in the Premier League this season, but he contributed a vital winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Leicester City in the penultimate game of the campaign.

Meanwhile, City are priced at 8/11 to win the Premier League title again next season, with Liverpool priced at 11/4 and Manchester United 16/1.

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Guardiola ready to push again

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola says there will be no let-up from his side, despite them completing a unique domestic treble by lifting the FA Cup at Wembley.

The Citizens had already won both the Carabao Cup and the Premier League this season and showed little mercy on Saturday as they thumped Watford 6-0 to become the first side to claim all three major domestic trophies in the same season.

However, having been pushed all the way in the league by Liverpool, Guardiola says his side cannot afford to stand still as they will be under increased pressure next term.

He told reporters: "The players have to feel that they play good, or they don't play.

"Football is what it is – win again and again and again and the players have to feel that. What we have done is incredible, but from the first day of next season we start from zero.

"We have to see what we have seen for the past two, even three seasons, especially in terms of results for the past two seasons.

"I am pretty sure Liverpool will be stronger and more hungry to do it, that is why we have to stay there. If we don't, we are not going to win.

"We will have to get more than 90-plus points to be champions next season. That is the level we have to maintain – the same level as these last two seasons."

City only missed out on the Champions League this season, losing out on away goals to Tottenham Hotspur at the quarter-final stage.

The Citizens are 8/11 to win the Premier League title again next season, with Liverpool 11/4 and Spurs 12/1.

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FA Cup Manchester City vs Watford: City Complete Historic Treble

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Manchester City 6-0 Watford FC

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City put on a spectacular show in the FA Cup final at Wembley, to blow Watford away on their way to making history.

FA Cup Manchester City vs Watford was an exhibition of world-class football from a very special team, the first to complete the domestic treble of Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup.

Javi Gracia’s Watford defended manfully in the first half, but they were simply overwhelmed by a City side in irresistible form as David Silva, Raheem Sterling – who bagged a hat-trick – Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne all got on the score sheet.

It was a Pep Guardiola master class.

Highlights of the game

Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling lead Manchester City to victory in the FA Cup

Gabriel Jesus in action during the FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Watford

In the run-up to the game, the Manchester City vs Watford news circulating around Wembley was that City top scorer Sergio Aguero was starting on the bench, with Gabriel Jesus given a start.

Guardiola said the young Brazilian deserved his start, and he almost had an opening after good work from Bernardo and David Silva. But Craig Cathcart denied Jesus by making a crucial interception.

The Sky Blues settled quickly into the game, dominating possession and probing at the Hornets defence from the off. But the underdogs had the best chance of the opening exchanges.

Gerard Deulofeu started up front for Watford alongside Troy Deeney. The former Barcelona man has been the Hornets’ most creative player this season, and when the Hornets broke at speed he squared the perfect ball for Roberto Pereyra. However, Ederson made a brave save to deny the Argentine wide man.

The Watford fans were soon on their feet again, and this time due to a penalty appeal as Abdoulaye Doucoure’s shot hit Vincent Kompany on the elbow. But his pleas were waved away by the referee, who booked the midfielder for the ferocity of his protest.

But then City were ahead after more great work from David Silva. As the ball looped into the Watford box, he won a header and then took a return from Raheem Sterling before hitting a brilliant low finish.

Watford really needed to get to half-time still in touch, but on 39 minutes their task was made doubly difficult when Bernardo Silva chipped forward a delightful ball which Jesus squeezed in from a tight angle. Sterling smashed the ball into the net before it completely crossed the line to make sure.

That was a little tough on Jesus. The young striker tried again to get his goal early in the second half, but Heurelho Gomes saved. Then he was flagged offside when he nodded one into the net from an Oleksandr Zinchenko cross.

Watford were still in the game at 2-0. Deulofeu sprung the City offside trap but pulled his shot wide as his angle narrowed. But at 3-0 it was game over.

Kevin De Bruyne had only been on the pitch for five minutes after coming on as a substitute for Riyad Mahrez when he scored. Jesus was the provider, breaking forward and putting in the Belgian, who side-footed Gomes and slotted the ball home.

Jesus finally got his goal on 68 minutes when De Bruyne set him off on a break and he ran the length of the half before finishing brilliantly past Gomes.

City piled on the misery for the poor Hornets with another superb goal on 80 minutes. Bernardo Silva skipped down the left flank and put the ball on a plate for Sterling to bang home his second.

And the England man completed his hat-trick in the closing minutes, poking home after the unlucky Gomes pushed his first effort onto the post.

Key statistics

The pre-match Manchester City vs Watford betting odds here at us offered the Sky Blues at 1.20. And that was just about right as they simply destroyed the Hornets.

It’s been 50 years since Manchester City beat Leicester City 1-0 to win the 1969 FA Cup, and during their warm up the Sky Blues wore the same red and black striped shirts as did the Citizens half a century ago.

This Manchester City team is prolific, scoring a huge 26 goals in this amazing cup run and became only the third team to score six in an FA Cup final.

Over 3.00 @ 1.99 Bayern Munich Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 1.92 1X2 Bayern Munich @ 1.52 Third Line text CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.DFB Pokal

What’s next?

After the most dramatic and exhausting Premier League title chase in recent years, maybe Pep will give his boys a couple of days off. But he’s relentless in his pursuit of silverware and a small part of the man will be wondering how this historic treble isn’t a quadruple.

Maybe next year, Pep!




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City hit Watford for six

Manchester City won the FA Cup final at Wembley, thrashing Watford 6-0 and securing an unprecedented domestic treble.

City are the first team in history to win the league title, the League Cup and the FA Cup in a single season and they completed it in style at Wembley, with Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick, only the second ever in an FA Cup final.

Watford had the best chance early on but when that went begging there was only one winner with City outclassing the Hornets.

City, fresh from the Premier League title win last weekend took charge early on and had the first opportunity, Bernardo Silva stretching the Watford defence but Gabriel Jesus, in the side in place of Sergio Aguero, couldn't reach the cutback.

Watford though went closest to taking the lead in the opening exchanges, Gerard Deulofeu finding Roberto Pereyra who was through on goal but Ederson did well to make the save.

Watford again, on a rare attack, threatened and appealed for a penalty when a shot from Abdoulaye Doucoure was blocked in the area by Vincent Kompany who was ruled not to have handled.

At the other end Heurelho Gomes failed to gather a cross which Raheem Sterling was close to forcing home but City were totally dominating possession and it was no surprise when they took the lead midway through the first half, Sterling again involved, heading the ball on and David Silva latched onto it and fired home.

A second before half-time duly came and Bernardo Silva produced a beautiful pass which found Jesus on the left and he managed to get enough on the ball to get it over the line though Sterling was on hand to make sure and get the final touch. He was credited with the goal which proved important later on.

So 2-0 was the half-time score with City in complete control and they almost made it three just after the restart, Jesus nodding home from a corner but it was ruled out for offside.

They didn't have to wait long however, substitute Kevin de Bruyne getting on the end of a move between Jesus and Sterling and finishing coolly.

City made it four on 68 minutes, de Bruyne again involved and Jesus, if not claiming the second goal, certainly had the fourth, waiting for Gomes to commit and sending the ball past him.

There was still time for a fifth and this was definitely Sterling getting on the end of a cross after great work again from Bernardo Silva.

Then, with three minutes remaining he completed his hat-trick, Gomes saving well from the England striker's initial shot but the rebound fell kindly for him and he bundled the ball home to complete the rout and end an outstanding season for Pep Guardiola's side.

City are priced at 8/11 to win next season's Premier League with Liverpool 11/4 and Manchester United 16/1.

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Deeney plans to ruffle feathers

Troy Deeney is looking forward to his battle against Vincent Kompany when Watford take on Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

The striker believes that, even though City are the overwhelming favourites to win Saturday's match and complete an unprecedented domestic treble, he can cause Kompany and his team-mates plenty of problems.

Deeney said: "I think anyone that comes up against me would say it's very difficult, it's a very difficult day. So if there's a lot of crosses in the box, as much as I really respect Mr Kompany, he would say it's not going to be an easy day if he's playing against me.

"I think personally, if I'm on my A game it will be a very difficult game for whoever's playing.

"He (Kompany) knows that whenever we're going up against each other it's going to be a real battle because he's physically strong. I enjoy a physical battle and neither of us are ever going to back down from one another.

"We're going to have a few battles and whoever comes out on top will have a massive impact on the game."

The Hornets only won one of their 12 games against top-six sides this season and can be backed at 6/1 to lift the trophy on Saturday while Manchester City are available at 1/10.

"It's one of them when you always hope that you get a bit of luck," Deeney added. "We know it's going to be very difficult, there's going to be times when we'll need to ride our luck, but also we've got quality."

Fernandinho may face Hornets

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed that Fernandinho has returned to training and could feature in Saturday's FA Cup final against Watford.

However, Benjamin Mendy will not play against the Hornets at Wembley as City attempt to complete the unprecedented treble of Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup this season.

"Benjamin Mendy has not been selected because he's not fit," said Guardiola. "He will be ready next season, but he is not available for the final.

"Fernandinho trained today and yesterday."

City are expected to ease to victory on Saturday as they have won their last 10 games against Watford, while Javi Gracia's team have lost 11 of their 12 matches this season against the top six.

Guardiola is refusing to take victory for granted though, adding: "We celebrated [winning the Premier League title] for a short time and were back to business in the last few days to focus on Watford because I know how difficult it was in the home game, with the quality up front with [Roberto] Peyreyra, [Troy] Deeney and [Gerard] Deulofeu.

"The long balls to Deeney are always unstoppable, even with our tough central defenders. Maybe he is the best striker for setting the ball to his mates.

"We handled the defensive side really well, with set-pieces they have [Jose] Holebas who is an incredible taker.

"We spoke about the players and hopefully we can be focused for one more day, to compete again to be champions."

Manchester City are 1/10 to lift the trophy on Saturday and 2/9 to win in 90 minutes.

Capoue: Not expected to win

French midfielder Etienne Capoue accepts that no-one expects Watford to defeat Manchester City at Wembley and lift the FA Cup for the first time in their history.

The Hornets have made it through to only the second FA Cup final in their history, with their previous appearance ending in a 2-0 defeat to Everton in 1984.

And Capoue is aware that almost everyone will be expecting the Citizens to clinch a unique domestic treble by adding the FA Cup to the Carabao Cup and the Premier League title they have already won this season.

He said: "The best team ever in my six years in England. Six years I have played against them and this year was the best team ever.

"Everyone says we have zero chances, so we are going to take it. Everyone says Man City are the top team and will win easily – nobody expects us to win."

Watford are 6/1 to win the FA Cup final, with the Hornets 12/1 to win in 90 minutes and 28/1 to triumph following a penalty shootout.

Meanwhile, Watford head coach Javi Gracia has told his players to make the most of an opportunity to become club legends by claiming a surprise Wembley victory.

The Spaniard told the Evening Standard: "I know perfectly it is an important day, it is an important game. I would like to make history with the club and to do it we need to win.

"It is our moment and we have to feel it. I am sure the players know it and they will be ready to give their best."

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Pep wary of Hornets threat

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola is wary of the one-off nature of his side's FA Cup final showdown with Watford at Wembley on Saturday.

The Citizens are hoping to complete a unique domestic treble, having already won the League Cup and successfully defended their Premier League title this season.

However, Guardiola is well aware of the threat that the Hornets could pose, despite Watford having finished in the bottom half of the league table following a run of three consecutive defeats at the end of the campaign.

He told BBC Sport: "Watford and Wolves are the best teams outside of the top six. With Javi Gracia, he is an experienced manager and I think he is an excellent guy, an excellent manager and knows exactly what to do.

"They have huge talent up front, many physical players, good on set-pieces and this is a final, we know what can happen.

"We believe a lot in ourselves and we will have to find the antidote to beat them.

"It is a cup final, anything can happen, like a red card. They can prepare for the final better, they can make a strategy we did not expect. In one game, anything can happen."

City have won the last ten meetings of the two sides, with the two league clashes earlier this season finishing 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium and 2-1 at Vicarage Road.

The Citizens are 1/10 to lift the FA Cup on Saturday and are 2/9 to win in normal time, with the men from Manchester 5/1 to secure a 2-0 victory in 90 minutes.

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FA Cup: Can Hornets’ Sting End City’s Treble Dream?

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Manchester City vs Watford

It’s the best cup competition in the world. And 90,000 fans will pack into the Wembley Stadium for this season’s FA Cup final between Manchester City and Watford on Saturday.

The walk down Wembley Way is something supporters from around the UK dream of every year, and in 2019 it’s Javi Gracia’s Watford who’s fans will have that special day. If they can somehow beat the league champions then it will live in the memory forever. That is, of course, a very big ‘if’!

After the best Premier League title race in years, the Sky Blues have emerged stronger than ever, looking remarkably fresh and with few injury worries in their squad. Right from the outset the FA Cup 2019 odds pointed to a Manchester City triumph, and now the Sky Blues are overwhelmingly odds on.

But the romance of the FA Cup has been built on bigger shocks than Gracia’s Hornets winning the day. This Watford side was in the race for the seventh place until very recently and, on its day, can play scintillating football. And, in the image of their captain, Troy Deeney, won’t give up without a fight.

Talking Points

Sky Blue history makers

Watford’s task is to stop Manchester City from becoming the first club to win the domestic treble of Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup. Both Liverpool and Manchester United have won a treble, but both featured the Champions League/European Cup.

Pep would have dearly loved to pick up the Champions League as part of a quadruple, but a VAR controversy shattered that dream for him as Spurs defeated City with a last gasp goal aided by Fernando Llorente’s elbow.

But this team is breaking records with regularity, hitting 100 league points last season and making it 198 over the last two. Manchester City beat Brighton in the semi-final of the FA Cup to reach the Wembley showcase, and the Sky Blues saw off the Seagulls again last week with a 1-4 win to clinch the league title.

And it was that man Sergio Aguero who settled any Sky Blue nerves on the south coast with the Champions’ opener in the decisive victory.

Guardiola doesn’t have any new injury worries; only Fernandinho and long term absentee Benjamin Mendy are likely to be unavailable, and that means Watford could face the returning Kevin De Bruyne.




Watford’s well-oiled engine

The underdogs will be happy to play that role but aren’t at Wembley to make up the numbers. Gracia has assembled a well-balanced team, with strength and style in equal measure, and his central midfield partnership is a crucial component.

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s flair is well complemented by the industry of Etienne Capoue, one of the top tacklers in the Premier League. While Doucoure takes the plaudits with his spectacular range of passing and shooting, his partner breaks up play and looks after the ball jealously, as well as scoring three times during Watford’s cup run. As a former defensive midfielder, Gracia understands Capoue’s value better than most.

The Hornets made the final thanks to a spectacular comeback against Wolves in the semi-final, when they fought back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 in extra time. The game was right up there in the FA Cup 2019 highlights, as a brace from attacking midfielder Gerard Deulofeu, completed after Troy Deeney had converted a 94th-minute penalty, pulled that tie out of the fire in the most dramatic fashion.

Captain Deeney is a man of the people who speaks his mind, and he’s caused a storm by accusing the FA of ‘preying’ on fans with extortionate ticket prices. His team will need that kind of anger and fighting spirit to have any chance of taking down the billionaires of English football.

Defender Jose Holebas is available to play after his red card against West Ham was rescinded and he could be a key man.

FA Cup: Gerard Deulofeu scored a brace in Watford’s dramatic semi-final win

Gerard Delofeu celebrates after scoring a goal for Watford


En route to the final Watford put out top-flight sides Crystal Palace and Newcastle, as well as Wolves, while the Sky Blues only faced Burnley from the Premier League before their semi-final with Brighton.

But Pep’s boys have plundered 20 goals on the road to Wembley, and it’s worth reminding ourselves that the Sky Blues won the Premier League after a run of 14 consecutive victories. To do that under such intense pressure from Liverpool suggests this world-class squad has a nerve of pure steel.

And City has the FA Cup pedigree. The Sky Blues are five times winners of the FA Cup, the last time in 2011 when a goal from Yaya Toure was enough to beat Stoke City 1-0. The following year the Sky Blues began their period of domination in English football with the first of their four league wins in the following eight years.

Watford’s best effort in the competition was in 1984 when they were beaten finalists in 1984.

Can they go one step further on Saturday?

Betting Tip

Manchester City vs Watford Total Goals 2-3 @ 2.00
May 19, 00:00 (GMT+8)

At us odds of 11.00 you’d think not! Manchester City is at odds of 1.20 to win the Cup within 90 minutes and the draw is at 6.40.

I think Watford will fight hard for their chance and don’t see an exhibition on the way. I expect Manchester City to win but they will have to work for it, and a one or two goal margin is the likely outcome.

?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.



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