Review & Ratings: Solskjaer needs to learn a lesson from Watford defeat – poor tactics; Martial ineffective, Pogba the light in the darkness

Manchester United were beaten 2-0 by Watford at Vicarage Road in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. It was such a poor defeat and the players need to take the responsibility for this one. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also needs to find a way for his team to break down their opposition when they play behind the ball. It is something every manager should be able to do. Playing the same week in and week out won’t do this.

It was another frustrating first half for United. Jesse Lingard had the chance of the half, trying to chip the goalkeeper but ending up off target. Watford took their chances, breaking the deadlock in the 50th minute through Ismaila Sarr whose shot should have been stopped by David de Gea, who tried to hid his embarrassment. United needed to get back into the game now, which has seemingly bee difficult from the start.

Watford doubled their lead in the 54th minute after Aaron Wan-Bissaka gave them a penalty. Troy Deeney scored from the spot to send his side 2-0 up over United, who just did not have the ability, desire or determination to get something from the game. Now at 2-0 down, it could be something short of a miracle that United needed to get back into it, let alone getting the victory.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper made a big mistake to gift Watford their opening goal in the 50th minute. It was such a poor goal to give away that De Gea tried to hide his embarrassment. Four minutes later he conceded to a penalty putting Watford 2-0 up.


29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back got forward at times although United did not seem to be taking advantage of attacking. He gave away a penalty in the 54th minute of the match seeing Watford go 2-0 up.


2 Victor Lindelof

I don't think Lindelof played badly today, despite the team playing badly. In terms of confidence, the way he plays against big teams does not seem to be reflected against smaller teams. He was a thorn in the side of Troy Deeney but with the ball at his feet, he should have done more with it, especially with the fact he was given the space.


5 Harry Maguire

You could see the frustration in his face. He's not happy with the overall team performance. Unlucky with a header, which was aimed straight at Foster.


23 Luke Shaw

The left-back was booked in the first half. He did his job most of the time and got forward, although a lot more in the second half when United were chasing the game. However, in terms on fitness, I don't think he's quite there yet.


17 Fred

Looked to have lost something during this game. He has risen to becoming a decent midfielder over the past few months. He could improve his delivery of the ball, especially from set-pieces.


39 Scott McTominay

The Scotland international did not seem to be in the best of form against Watford. Neither did Fred, which is a shame. McTominay got a shot on goal but could not change anything for United. He was replaced by Juan Mata in the 73rd minute.


21 Daniel James

The Welsh winger did not make much of a mark in the game. His pace and ability are frightening but if other cogs in the team are not working, it doesn't work for him. Saw himself being replaced by Mason Greenwood in the 58th minute.


14 Jesse Lingard

It was another poor game for Lingard. I understand his family problems but he's a professional footballer. He had the chance to put United in front in the first half, aiming to chip Ben Foster. His effort was off target. He was replaced by Paul Pogba in the 64th minute.


10 Marcus Rashford

The clubs top scorer this season did not pressure Foster at all in the game. His first touch was poor also. His free-kick, which Foster palmed away was predictable. Hopefully it was a bad day at the office.


9 Anthony Martial

Another poor performance from the Frenchman. As the weeks go on, it is clear that he's not the striker to drive this team forward. He just cannot seem to find the goal. Mason Greenwood has the same number of goals as him playing fewer minutes. Time for Greenwood to lead the line?



11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced James 58'. The teenager should have started instead of Martial, in my opinion. He tried to get involved to change the game but the rest of the team were not on the same page.


6 Paul Pogba

Replaced Lingard 64'. A return from injury for the Frenchman. His long-range pass into the box was good to see. If only Marouane Fellaini was there to receive it. Didn't disgrace himself in his return from injury, spending around three months on the sidelines. Playing basketball must have kept his fitness up.


8 Juan Mata

Replaced McTominay 73'. Pointless in this team. To bring Mata on at 2-0 down would have been good six years ago. Today though, it added nothing of note. He didn't give the ball away much, which was his highlight.


Goals: Ismaila Sarr 50′, Troy Deeney 54′ (penalty)

Assists: Christian Kabasele 50′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay (Mata 73′); James (Greenwood 58′), Lingard (Pogba 64′), Rashford; Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Young; Pereira, Matic

Bookings: Etienne Capoue 36′, Abdoulaye Doucoure 51′, Craig Cathcart 90+2′; Luke Shaw 38′

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copyright: JW

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