This defeat against newly-promoted opponents who had so many injuries they named two goalkeepers on the bench was a first in the Premier League for nine months but also reminiscent of the 2016-17 campaign, when City finished 15 points behind champions Chelsea and were eliminated from the Champions League at the first knockout stage.
Kevin De Bruyne has reminded those writing Manchester City off that they fell seven points off the pace last season before staging a stirring fightback to beat Liverpool to the Premier League title.
"The job of the defence is to stop their best players scoring and I think as a whole unit, the winger in front of me, whether it was Emi (Buendia) or Todd (Cantwell), they really helped out and we defended as a team".
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goals in the 21st and 32nd minute looked as if they had put Arsenal on track to an easy win, but the Gunners lost control after the break and Tom Cleverley got Watford back into the game after an mistake from Socrates playing the ball out of defense.
Pundits like Jermaine Jenas had warned the loss of Aymeric Laporte would "shift the Premier League title towards Liverpool". "We're going to recover now and come back", Guardiola was quoted as saying by ESPNFC after the defeat.
Mr Hone added: "All the kids have been talking about him and us teachers have heard them talking all about the match in the corridors".
The Belgium global midfielder said in the wake of a stunning reversal at Carrow Road: "Last season we were seven points behind - it happens".
McLean, meanwhile, insists he and his Norwich team-mates always had the belief they could shock the champions.
"We knew Manchester City is one of the best teams in the world but if we did our thing, particularly at home, we had a chance to do something special", he said, speaking to Sky Sports.
"But within the changing room, we knew whoever was on that pitch would have given everything for the shirt and for the fans". "There were plenty of injuries but we couldn't use that as an excuse. He's got to find a way of getting these two to play together".
"That's what happened and we got our just rewards".
"The ball from Emi was flawless", he added. "We knew the counter-attack and set pieces would be vital for us and it worked out that way".
"We are always a team, when we win and when we lose".