Kevin De Bruyne returns to inspire Manchester City to win over Watford

Kevin De Bruyne made a dramatic return to action as Manchester City eased back to winning ways with a convincing 3-1 victory over Watford.

The Belgian did not score but was the main architect as the Premier League leaders overcame Sunday’s rare blip at Crystal Palace with strikes from Raheem Sterling – after less than a minute – Sergio Aguero and a Christian Kabasele own goal.

De Bruyne had been highly doubtful for the clash at the Etihad Stadium after being carried off in the goalless draw at Selhurst Park – which ended City’s record-breaking run of 18 successive wins – but he played as if he had not been hurt at all.

Watford were outplayed by City for a second time this season, following a 6-0 hammering in September, but did manage a late consolation from Andre Gray on a cold and wet night.

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