Report: The Special Juan delivers for the Special One

Manchester United made top four statement as they win against 2-0 against Watford in an enjoyable game at Old Trafford. The perfect way to make tribute to the Busby Babes, who left the generation of today a sad story to tell but wonderful at the same time, as they were the most exciting team in the country. A great way to finish things and United has put pressure on them.

The mission was clear, to move on from the sixth place. Liverpool faces Tottenham early in the evening, and if Spurs manage to grab something from that game, things may turn in United’s favour easily. Martial started today, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the second game this season started in the no.10 position that suits him perfectly. Cutting down the middle in several games, Mourinho was convinced that he is more productive in the position, doing things right this time. No errors allowed this time, it was a must win game.

With Rojo and Jones not fully fit the clear choices in the heart of the defence were Bailly and Smalling, while the difficult job was on Valencia as he had to mark the new Watford signing M’Baye Niang, well-known for his terrific pace and speed.

As the game started, United were in the perfect tune, as Pogba, Mata and Valencia combined really in the right to seal a beautiful cross for Zlatan Ibrahimovic who strangely didn’t score as that was perfect for one of his spectacular goals. As the minutes went by, United were a constant threat, yet didn’t manage to find the right way to score. Early signs of what could Niang do were shown around the 9th minute as he sealed a shot that went straight to De Gea’s hands. On the other side it was Mkhitaryan who could have scored as he wasn’t able to lurk a stronger shot to the Watford keeper.

Another perfect control from Martial as the Watford defence put the alert on, as they couldn’t simply face the terrific pace Martial showed and a few minutes later Mata created another chance which was actually offside. Signs of domination from Manchester United who needed to win this to keep the pressure on the top four. Entertaining football as combinations of Martial and Zlatan were the perfect ones to create danger around Watford’s final third.

A Watford counter could have seen the opposition in lead but a late touch from Bailly saw the shot deflected, keeping the result in tie. This game surely never lost its movement with a Pogba shot that surely seemed to be in. Another great job from Valencia who almost had an assist there as Pogba once again was denied by Gomes as in the meantime United kept an eye on Mauro Zarate. Right after that, Ander Herrera, Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic missed three great chances, but it was Mata with a brilliant assist from Martial finally took the lead, a deserved lead that finally saw those wasted chances less painful.

From the goal to the end of the first half United once again kept trying once again to score and dominate the game yet not being able to double the lead.

As the second half started United with Martial again and his incredible pace going upfront who was unlucky not to have another ball converted into an assist. no changes made with the manager happy at the team so far. The commentator just like us, it’s not surprised as Martial is the one that moves United forward. Doing the job great today in the front, Paul Pogba has however played a deeper role and caused a free kick which was converted into a dangerous shot from Mauro Zarate that saw it saved from David De Gea.

Despite the team playing well, the same cannot be said for the big Swede who has been caught offside several times and looking a bit nervous for not being able to score. Devastating months are past Martial as he finally scored a great goal and of course he had the fans start chanting. A goal that surely came in the right time as the game was running slow that needed some type of response and Anthony Martial didn’t let us down.

However, United couldn’t call the game off in the 65th minute as Walter Mazzarri was making a few tactical changes in the pitch putting Niang in the left causing a few troubles in Daley Blind’s head, making things a bit difficult for him. To balance things a bit, a right call from Jose Mourinho who took off Juan Mata to replace him with Marouanne Fellaini. The movement was completely understandable as things were getting a bit dangerous as David De Gea did another superb save to keep a clean sheet.

This game surely is going to be match full of regrets for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan as in the gap of 10 minutes they have missed four clear chances to score. Zlatan has had a poor game in terms of shooting, while Mkhitaryan has been so unlucky as the player constantly missed sitters, growing frustration into him. It has to be said that despite this, the constant threat he has caused in Watford final third has been incredible.

Sporadic reaction and contribution from M’Baye were surely credit to Antonio Valencia today as he never left him alone as after switching roles, he still couldn’t make against Paul Pogba. In the following minutes, United made two other changes as Anthony Martial came off for Rashford who in instant made an impact having two shots saved. Then it was time for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to leave the pitch as Jesse Lingard came in for him.

United win the game 2-0, moving in front of Liverpool who will face Tottenham Hotspur this evening. Leaving this behind, United entertained us today, as missing chances has become a sort of courtesy for United strikers, but this time Mata and Martial did everything right and won it for United.

Goals: Juan Mata 32′, Anthony Martial 60′

Assists: Anthony  Martial 32′, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 60′

Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind, Herrera, Pogba, Mata (Fellaini 72′), Mkhitaryan (Lingard 89′), Martial (Rashford 81′), Ibrahimovic

Substitutes Not Used: Romero, Darmian, Carrick, Rooney

Bookings: Antonio Valencia 92′

Written by Fabiola Cejku


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