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Manchester City made to suffer in nervy win over Watford, says Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola said Manchester City were made to suffer after they survived a late scare to beat Watford and extend their lead at the Premier League summit.

City are now five points clear of Liverpool, who travel to Burnley on Wednesday, with Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez scoring either side of half-time at Vicarage Road.

The champions appeared to be cruising towards the victory, but were made to fight for all three points after Abdoulaye Doucoure set up a nervy conclusion when he bundled the ball home for Watford with five minutes remaining.

City could have put the game out of reach in the opening period but spurned a number of chances, and came up against an inspired Ben Foster in Watford’s goal.

Watford v Manchester City – Premier League – Vicarage Road
Manchester City’s Leroy Sane in action at Vicarage Road (Nick Potts/PA)

“We had the chances to kill the game and score a third, and maybe a fourth but we missed them,” said Guardiola.

“In the first half they had one clear chance, but we had many, and then we had three or four more chances after we went 2-0 ahead.

“Then, we started to lose balls and let them have an opportunity to get back into it.

“In this league, you have to score the third goal and we didn’t do that, so that’s why we suffered near the end.”

City’s victory was played out against the backdrop of off-the-pitch allegations that they have flouted Financial Fair Play rules, but Guardiola insisted on Tuesday night he will welcome any investigation.

“UEFA is doing what it is doing,” he said.

“And if it finds something, the club will make a statement, and I would like that, because we know we are going to finish with these voices.

“If we did something irregular, we will know it.

“If we didn’t do something irregular, the people can stop talking about it.

“I trust a lot in my club, in our organisation. If something is wrong, they’re going to tell us.”

Elsewhere, Bournemouth ended a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win against Huddersfield.

“We knew it was going to be tough, but we got a dream start, and looked in total control at that point,” manager Eddie Howe said.

Lucas Perez scored his first Premier League goal in 700 days as he netted a brace in West Ham’s 3-1 victory against Cardiff.

Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini said: “For different reasons, Lucas didn’t start so often but it is important that when the player has the chance, he takes it.”

While Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson was disappointed with his side’s 3-1 defeat against 10-man Brighton.

“There are no good feelings,” he said. “I don’t feel anything positive at the moment.”

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