Ratings: United humiliated by Watford; Maguire not a captain, Wan-Bissaka poor; Van de Beek the MOTM


Manchester United were beaten 4-1 by Watford at Vicarage Road in the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were outplayed and outperformed by Watford, who opened the scoring in the 28th minute through Joshua King. Ismaila Sarr doubled the lead before the break. Five minutes into the second half, Donny van de Beek scored his first goal of the season. With United unable to draw level, the continued to struggle and two added time goals from Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis saw United beaten and dejected. Whatever happens from here is on the Glazers. United face Villarreal on Tuesday evening.

United did not start off all that well and looked like they did against Manchester City a fortnight ago. Watford won a penalty in the seventh minute of the match, which was initially missed by Ismaila Sarr but tapped in by Kiko Femenia. However, after some complaints by United the goal was disallowed and the penalty was signalled to be retaken. Harry Maguire was vocal about that as the offside of Femenia was after the penalty was taken, so it should be offside, but the penalty was retaken with David De Gea making the save again. United looked abject in defence once again and that is worrying at this stage in Solskjaer’s management.

In the 28th minute of the match, former United academy graduate Joshua King opened the scoring for Watford, assisted by Emmanuel Dennis. It was a good goal for the striker, who punished De Gea from close-range to score against his former club. United needed to hit the ground running now, but they would not do that just yet. Solskjaer looked like he did not care in the dug out, which is easy to say as it was a few seconds of the camera looking at him. One things is for sure, this United side have some major problems and it is not making very pleasant viewing for the supporters of the club. The so-called fans on Twitter will love it though.

Just before the half time break, Sarr doubled Watford’s lead with Femenia assisting. United were 2-0 down and looked dejected. The manager would need to make changes during the break. There was a feeling in me that United would not come back from this and that it could get worse. At the start of the second half, Solskjaer brought on Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek for Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay, who was on a yellow card from the first half of the match. Within five minutes, the Dutchman, assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo, had a goal back for United which was followed by a period of good play by United.

United did not get anything else from a period of pressure and the longer they were behind, the further they would fall. This was a very poor performance for United. Maguire was booked in the 62nd minute for a challenge, which was deserved as United tried to find their way back. They did manage to get level but the goal was ruled out for offside – which was just United’s luck. Solskjaer needed to get this side playing like they had been for him at times over the last three years, well almost. That was not happening though. Just seven minutes after his first booking, Maguire was send of after receiving a second yellow card.

This was a new low for United. To be in this position against Watford, who have been poor this season and newly promoted after a season in the Championship, was not good enough. Manchester United which this squad should be better than they were last season but it seems clear that certain players have downed tools, which is never a good look for these supposedly professional players. To hang a manager out to dry like this is something that will result in pay back for them at some point in the future. The players should be responsible for this abject display just as much as the manager. But if they want a new manager, they should get one.

With ten minutes left to play, United still needed a goal to draw level and possible share the spoils, which was better than losing but not what anyone wanted. It still was not happening for United. Diogo Dalot replaced Luke Shaw in the 85th minute but United still did not get anything from the match. In added time, a fourth substitution with Jesse Lingard replacing Jadon Sancho, who had a good performance at times, gave United one last chance which did not pay off. Joan Pedro scored a third for Watford in the second minute of added time with Emmanuel Dennis scoring in the sixth minute of added time to seal the rampant victory.

It is unknown whether Solskjaer will be given more time by the club, but at this time, it seems that nothing is ever going to work as something is clearly happening with the players. United will face Villarreal in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening, the penultimate match of the group stages with United needing three points to command the group and reach the knockout stages of the competition. Next Sunday, they will face top of the Premier League Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which is another daunting match in such a busy week, especially with the players that are out injured and with Maguire clearly suspended for that match.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Seemed confident for the penalties, saving the one which was retaken. His defence let him down. Will take the blame for the third goal. United need to learn, especially defensively. These players need to be moved on if they are not going to stand up and be counted. De Gea deserves much better from his defence.


29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Needs to be dropped. His performances have dropped in the last year or so. Seems to make the same mistakes quite often, which is not progress. United definitely need some competition for him and Dalot is not that, I don't think.


2 Victor Lindelof

Played slowly today and did not look confident. On the counter, his positioning was not the best. Seemed steadier in the second half, well until the two late goals to embarrass United.


5 Harry Maguire

Seemed to improve a little in the first half, but not much. Played some important blocks and clearances in the first half. Booked and off in seven minutes, which shows he's possibly not the captain of the club. Will definitely miss the Chelsea match, which is a blow for United.


23 Luke Shaw

Still not picked up his form, which is worrying. Wan-Bissaka seemed to be at the brunt of the attacks but one goal came down Shaw's channel. Replaced in the 85th minute by Dalot due to an injury. Seems he will be out for Tuesday.


31 Nemanja Matic

His appearance in this game did not work out for United. More key to the fact United need an enforcer in the midfield and January will need bring that.


39 Scott McTominay

I don't think he was fully fit for this match. Booked in the first half and did not make it out for the second as he was replaced by Van de Beek, who scored United's only goal of the game.


25 Jadon Sancho

Seemed to show improvement in this game, despite the result. Was switched sides but his cross led to Van de Beek's goal in the second half. More improvement needed though. Replaced by Lingard in the first minute of added time at the end of the second half.


18 Bruno Fernandes

Seemed to cause the penalty which De Gea ended up saving after it was retaken. Had no real impact in the game. I'd like to hear what he was doing at the end of the match though, which seemed pathetic looking at the TV screen. It seemed he was asking the fans not to boo the players. After that performance?


10 Marcus Rashford

Got a save out of Foster but that was really all he had in him today. Replaced at the start of the second half by Martial.


7 Cristiano Ronaldo

Anonymous at times. Got the assist for Van de Beek, which was his best play of the game. Should have scored a goal himself though. Created something for Fernandes but that was about it.



9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Rashford 46'. Seemed to dawdle after coming on. Played a good square ball into Van de Beek, but from there, he was not really noticed. Some think he's the talent in this squad. Oh please.


34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced McTominay 46'. Man of the Match for me. Scored his first goal of the season five minutes after coming on. Should start on Tuesday. He was the only player to really try in this match and all after how he has been treated. What a player to have at this club. He should not be allowed to leave. He needs to play every match now.


20 Diogo Dalot

Replaced Shaw 85'. Had a cameo but did little for United.


14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Sancho 90+1'. Came on with a few minutes of added time left. Not enough to get into the game.


Goals: Joshua King 28′, Ismaila Sarr 44′, Joao Pedro 90+2′, Emmanuel Dennis 90+6′; Donny van de Beek 50′

Assists: Emmanuel Dennis 28′, 90+2′, Kiko Femenia 44′, Ben Foster 90+6′; Cristiano Ronaldo 50′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Dalot 85′); Matic, McTominay (Van de Beek 46′); Sancho (Lingard 90+1′), Fernandes, Rashford (Martial 46′); Ronaldo

Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Bailly, Telles; Mata, Fred

Bookings: Scott McTominay 19′, Harry Maguire 62′, 69′ s/o

Written by John Walker

Other news you may also like

13 September 2020

FC Porto have reported lowered their asking price for 27-year-old left back Alex Telles this summer with Portuguese news source A Bola suggesting that the club will ac… Read more

8 August 2020

Manchester United -v- FC Copenhagen UEFA Europa League RheinEnergieSTADION, Cologne, Germany Monday 10 August 2020, KO 20:00 BST Referee: Clément Tur… Read more

28 November 2021

Manchester United drew 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. David De Gea’s heroics saved United in the opening stages of the match after a defensive error but th… Read more

4 February 2021

Manchester United -v- Everton Premier League Old Trafford, Manchester Saturday 6 February 2021, KO 20:00 GMT Referee: Jonathan Moss Assistants:&n… Read more

copyright: JW