Manchester City were always going to have to share the goals out this season.
Having let Sergio Aguero leave on a free transfer and failed to land Harry Kane, Pep Guardiola was braced not just for having to go a whole season with a No.9 but also the questions and verdicts that would inevitably come in whenever they failed to score or take their chances.
Against Watford, so many went begging. Jack Grealish alone could have had four in the first half, Watford cleared one off the line and their goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann made several good saves. Yet the result was never in doubt from the fourth minute, meaning that any inquests over City's lack of firepower up front were again redundant.
To say they haven't got a striker, City have arguably never had more attackers. Ruben Dias slapped one in from 25 yards against Aston Villa, Joao Cancelo has been holding his own in the battle of the full-backs against Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James, and Kyle Walker is getting forward down the right flank more than he ever has.
Then there is Aymeric Laporte.
After losing his place to John Stones for the bulk of last season, Laporte was rejuvenated as a late entry into Spain's Euro 2020 squad and a lack of buyers in the transfer market meant he returned to Manchester with a point to prove.
He has been suspended twice in recent matches yet has come straight back into the team - a sign that Guardiola must be happy with him - and his performance at Vicarage Road shows how much he adds to the team in defence and attack.
At the back, he was tidy and he made sure to clear up any mistakes he made. At one point in the second half, he sloppily gave the ball away not once but twice, yet as Watford broke into the box it was Laporte, arms by his side to avoid giving a penalty away, that blocked the shot to protect Ederson.
Aerially the 27-year-old didn't appear to lose a header and this was true in the opposition box. It was the centre-back whose header was goalbound in the second minute before a Watford defender met it, a prime target from set-pieces for City as one of the tallest players in what is a small team.
However good Dias and Stones are defensively, neither can match Laporte for his attacking output. Not only is his distribution excellent but it is aggressive. That means that sometimes he loves the ball, but it also speeds up the play of the whole side because he is pushing the ball ahead of teammates.
In true Guardiola fashion, one of the reasons City are not missing a striker is because Laporte and their defence have never been more of a threat going forwards.
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