Javi Gracia believes Watford had no chance of beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final after Roberto Pereyra missed a glorious early chance when the match was 0-0.
City ran out comprehensive winners at Wembley on Saturday in the end, crushing Watford 6-0 thanks to braces from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, with David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne getting one each.
But early on things were significantly more even, Watford creating a brilliant opportunity in the 10th minute.
City were caught on a break led by Gerard Deulofeu and the Spaniard played the ball inside to Pereyra, who failed to beat the onrushing Ederson in goal.
Pep Guardiola’s men opened the scoring 16 minutes later and they never looked back, leaving Gracia to rue Pereyra’s wastefulness.
“Very tough defeat and result, but I know it’s a difficult moment now to recognise other things,” Gracia told reporters.
“We’ve lost, City were much better than us, but there were different moments in the game. We started the game well, we created the best chance for us with Roberto Pereyra after 10 minutes, but we need to score that chance if you want to have some chance to win the game.
“After that, to speak about one or two plays after losing 6-0 is difficult to explain.
“I’m happy with the first part of the game, but after if you let them have spaces, they show their quality and they’re very good players. There’s nothing to say, only to congratulate them.”
City’s win was the biggest in an FA Cup final since Bury thrashed Derby County by the same scoreline in 1903.
— Bury Football Club (@buryfcofficial) May 18, 2019
Gracia remains appreciative of his players’ efforts, however, and thinks experiencing such a humbling defeat will help them in future.
“I’m very proud of my players, I’m proud of our supporters. All of us know how difficult it is for us to be here and to enjoy a game like this,” Gracia added.
“As you can see, our supporters helped the players until the end and I’m proud of being part of this club.
“There’s nothing to say, only good words for my players. I know this moment is difficult to accept, this defeat, but for all of us, we are a team and we’ve enjoyed this season together a lot and today we suffer together.
“I think it’s a step forward for us to live this experience and I’m sure we’ll have more options in the future, not only in the FA Cup, in the Premier League as well.
“We want to improve, we want to do better next season and I think we are in the right way with the players we have.”
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