Manchester United will be hoping to bounce back from two successive defeats when they travel to Watford in the Premier League on Sunday. The Reds were defeated in the Manchester derby last weekend before falling to defeat against Feyenoord in the Europa League midweek. United won their opening four fixtures (if you include the Community Shield win over Leicester City last month) but have struggled since their last victory away at Hull City and have only scored twice in three games.
Watford have had an indifferent start to the new campaign, however, can take confidence from their 4-2 comeback win against West Ham United last time out. The Hornets currently sit tenth in the Premier League with one win, one draw and two defeats from their opening four matches. Let’s take a look back at the last three meetings between the two sides, starting with United’s narrow 1-0 victory at Old Trafford earlier this year.
Manchester United 1-0 Watford, Premier League – 2nd March 2016
Louis van Gaal’s men made it four wins in a row with a hard-fought win over Watford at Old Trafford. It could have been a different story had Hornet’s striker Odion Ighalo had his shooting boots on. The Nigerian international was very wasteful in front of goal in the first half and United took full advantage.
The Reds headed into their third match at Old Trafford within a week after already seeing off FC Midtjylland and Arsenal in the Europa League and Premier League respectively. Ighalo failed to hit the target and was thwarted by David De Gea on numerous occasions during the first half which kept the scores goalless. The hosts looked bereft of ideas until Juan Mata curled home a wonderful free-kick 7 minutes from time.
Watford 1-2 Manchester United, Premier League – 21st November 2015
Watford’s Troy Deeney quickly turned from hero to zero as United somehow came away from Vicarage Road with all three points. The Reds were riddled with injuries for the trip to Watford, makeshift right-back Ashley Young filled in for Antonio Valencia who was injured and Memphis Depay got the nod up front as Wayne Rooney (ill) and Anthony Martial (injured) were unavailable.
It was Depay who was starting his first game in over a month – who opened the scoring. The Dutchman showed great composure to guide Ander Herrera’s cross into the roof of the net with a left-footed volley. Both sides created plenty of chances although it looked like United would grind out a narrow 1-0 victory, that was until Marcos Rojo clumsily brought down Odion Ighalo inside the area with four minutes remaining. Troy Deeney drilled home the equaliser from the penalty spot but there was still time for more drama. United pushed for a winner and were rewarded in the final minute when Deeney bundled the ball into his own net following good work from first Jesse Lingard and then Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Watford 1-4 Manchester United, FA Cup – 14th April 2007
A place in the FA Cup final at the new Wembley was up for grabs when Manchester United took on Premier League strugglers Watford at Villa Park in April 2007. Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers played out the other semi-final with Chelsea winning 2-1 after extra time thanks to a Michael Ballack winner.
Wayne Rooney collected a pass from Michael Carrick just outside the area before rifling in the opener after just six minutes before Hameur Bouazza’s 26th overhead kick leveled proceedings. United’s lead was swiftly restored however when Cristiano Ronaldo bundled in Rooney’s cross two minutes later. Rooney scored his second and United’s third midway through the second half following good play from Alan Smith before Kieran Richardson added a fourth late on.