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Ratings: Watford 3-1 Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

Manchester United slumped to a third successive defeat against a Watford side that scored a goal from an offensive foul and an incredible late effort from Juan Camilo Zuniga just 53 seconds after entering the pitch. United was unable to create chances for much of the match but were handed a lifeline from a lucky strike by Marcus Rashford. Watford didn’t play well, but United played outstandingly poorly and the referee was as bad as United, handing Watford a penalty in the last minute for a clear non-starter of a foul out of anger.

The media is in an actual campaign to bring United down again, but it’s incredibly baffling that it is working. One thing you wouldn’t expect from a Jose Mourinho team is to slump to such low standards of media dealing. United lacks a plan attacking, barring Ibrahimovic, who has been superlative to score 5 goals and an assist in 6 without service. Changes need to be made again, and people will begin to question Jose Mourinho’s pedigree because he’s hated by everyone, and United is hated by everyone. But the performance wasn’t excusable either way, and it’s reflected in the ratings.

Goals: Marcus Rashford 62′

Assists: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 62′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia (Mata 62′), Smalling, Bailly, Shaw (Memphis 85′); Fellaini, Pogba; Rashford, Rooney, Martial (Young 38′); Ibrahimovic

Substitutes Not Used: Romero, Blind, Carrick, Herrera

Bookings: Paul Pogba 75′, Marouane Fellaini 88′, Memphis Depay 89′, Wayne Rooney 90+2′

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Watford could’ve scored more if it wasn’t for de Gea, who made a couple of good saves and one outstanding. Couldn’t do anything for the penalty. His opposite goalkeeper, Heurelho Gomes, was good too.

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25 Antonio Valencia

Valencia shouldn’t be in the team, as I always say. Outstandingly poor. He can’t defend, and can’t offer anything technical. All he offers is a running outlet and then a back pass or misplaced cross. His crosses weren’t even in the box. Replaced by Juan Mata, with Young moving to right-back, which says enough.

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12 Chris Smalling

Again, poor from Smalling. He backed into de Gea mid-clearance and almost cost United a goal if not for miss-of-the-season from Odion Ighalo. Blind is United’s best defender.

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3 Eric Bailly

Bailly gets a lot of praise, and I like his desire, but much like everyone else, he descended in the last 10 minutes. He still looks a good individual defender.

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23 Luke Shaw

Shaw looked good, actually, always getting the better of his man and looking good moving forward with good pace. Misplaced a couple of passes, and both Watford goals came from his flank, which is usually a bad sign, but he was in line for the majority of the match.

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27 Marouane Fellaini

He was solid defensively for the first 80 minutes but was completely abject moving forward all game and completely lost the plot for the last 10. Why isn’t Morgan Schneiderlin playing?

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6 Paul Pogba

He wasn’t terrible, but he was caught in strange areas at times. Smashed the bar with an outstanding effort, but he underwhelmed overall.

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19 Marcus Rashford

Rashford was United’s second-worst player in the first half, but the best by far in the second half, taking his goal well enough and looking bright often enough. He shouldn’t start on the right, though.

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10 Wayne Rooney

I can’t express how upset I am about this one. Poor set-pieces. Poor passing. Poor dribbling. Poor chance creation. Lost his man for the first two goals, the sole cause of both. It’s an atrocious rating for an atrocious footballer who isn’t even good enough for the Premier League. He ruined the system too, forcing Mata to play in wide areas, Pogba to play in deep areas, Rashford to play in wide areas and Ibrahimovic to play isolated. He’s made deadwood of this squad by existing.

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11 Anthony Martial

Martial looked okay compared to everyone else. He was fouled and lost the ball in the build-up to the goal, but he was also delirious from a collision before. Substituted for Young because of his injury, and I hope he’s okay.

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9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

He struggled in the first half but assisted Rashford’s goal, fantasy team owners. He looked ready to score but had no service.

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Substitutes

18 Ashley Young

Replaced Martial. Young came on and looked bang average like the player he is. He’s good for balancing out talent, but not as a spark off the bench… at least he didn’t play striker, though.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced Valencia. Mata was United’s best player on the day, buzzing and trying to make things happen. He didn’t make anything happen in the end, though.

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Ratings: Watford 3-1 Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

Replaced Shaw. United fans: “Oh no! Memphis had an average five minutes! Sell him!” Can we sell fans for being knee-jerk?

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