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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Substitutes

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.

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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.

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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.

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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′

Confirmed Starting XI: Pogba on the bench; Martial, Rashford, Lingard and James lead the attack against Watford

Manchester United are be back in Premier League action this afternoon when they travel to face Watford at Vicarage Road. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are in much better form heading into the match with them being undefeated in their last six matches. Watford have won once, drawn once and lost four matches in their last six matches and see themselves rooted to the very bottom of the Premier League table.

United will play three times in the space of six days over the Festive period starting on Sunday with this match against Watford. On Boxing Day, Newcastle United will head to Old Trafford with United heading to Burnley two days later. Three matches in six days could be problematic for United, unless they can get some injured players back in the squad or they will be reliant on youth, which is not a big problem.

United will also face a busy month in January with a visit to Arsenal on New Year’s Day which will be followed by six more matches with United facing Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup, Manchester City twice at the semi-final stage of the Carabao Cup and matches in the Premier League against Norwich City at Old Trafford, Liverpool at Anfield and Burnley at Old Trafford.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, McTominay;

James, Lingard, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Young; Pogba, Mata, Pereira, Matic; Greenwood

Watford:

Foster;

Mariappa, Kabasele, Cathcart, Femenia;

Capoue, Hughes;

Sarr, Doucoure, Deulofeu;

Deeney

Substitutes:

Gomes; Dawson, Masina; Chalobah, Pereyra; Gray, Success

United and Watford have played a total of 32 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1950. United have won 22 times, drawn five times and lost five times. The last defeat to Watford came in the Premier League back in September 2016, a 3-1 defeat at Vicarage Road with Etienne Capoue, Juan Zúñiga, and Troy Deeney scoring the goals for Watford with Marcus Rashford getting a consolation.

That defeat ended an 11 match winning run against Watford, which stretched back to February 1987. Since that defeat, United has played Watford five times, winning all five matches. In those five matches, United has scored 11 goals, conceded four goals, keeping a total of two clean sheets. Solskjaer will be seeking to extend that five match winning run to six matches, returning to winning ways in the league.

How Manchester United could look against Watford; Martial leading the line, Rashford, Lingard and James supporting with McTominay and Fred in midfield

Manchester United will face Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League. United will be seeking to return to winning ways in the league after a 1-1 draw with Everton last weekend, which could have had United a mere two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea. A 3-0 victory over Colchester United in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening will be a boost for United.

Over the next three games before the end of the year and decade, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking a way of breaking back into the top four, which was in reach after the victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in the last fortnight and that draw with Everton messed it up. Solskjaer will need his best available team to grind a result against bottom of the table Watford, a match United could struggle in.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper got himself a rest during the week with Sergio Romero stepping into his boots in the Carabao Cup victory over Colchester United. De Gea might have to play in the next three matches against Watford, Newcastle United and Burnley before the month ends, although Romero might be given a rare Premier League outing if De Gea needs to be rested with a view to the Arsenal match on. New Year’s Day. De Gea has not kept a clean sheet in the league since the victory over Leicester City in September and 12 league matches have been played since then. It is about time the defence managed a clean sheet and the match against Watford could well be that match, hopefully.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

This season, the back four which consists of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw is the first-choice back four. Brandon Williams has had a few good appearances in the left-back position with Axel Tuanzebe taking the place of Lindelof at times, but based on ability and promise, this is the best mixture, at this moment in time at least. United kept a clean sheet with Maguire and Shaw on the pitch during the week and getting a long-awaited clean sheet in the Premier League will be something the players need to achieve this weekend, if they can.

Midfield: Fred, Scott McTominay

Fred and Scott McTominay are the best midfield due at the club this season. Both has been pulling it out of the bag in recent weeks and Fred has grown as a player since last season, when he hardly ever played because of his poor performances. With Paul Pogba still out of action, for however long that may be, having McTominay and Fred build a midfield partnership with add something to this team. It might also give Pogba and others a fight to get back into the team on a more regular basis. It is clear though that United need to add some talent to the midfield ranks as creativity is a problem in the position.

Attacking Midfielders: Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford

Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford should all play against Watford. Lingard has been improving in his play, even if it is just a little bit. James adds a deathly amount of pace to the team and can cross the ball in from the right and Rashford adds a player in form into the team, a player who is seeking to reach more than twenty goals in a season for the first time in his senior career. Over the past two seasons he has scored 13 goals in all competitions, beating that with his 14th goal of the season against Colchester United on Wednesday. Combined, all three players can add pace, attacking prowess and creativity to provide Martial with good balls for his to find the back of the net.

Striker: Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial scored his seventh goal of the season when United faced Colchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday matching Mason Greenwood’s seven goals this season. Despite playing 90 minutes, it would seem that Martial will need to play in order to get match fitness ahead of the busy stage of the season which will see United play three times in six days or four times in ten days if you include the away trip to Arsenal on New Year’s Day. Martial will need to find a way to get himself amongst the goals for United as right now, he’s not being that leading man he could become.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Diogo Dalot, Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams; Andreas Pereira, James Garner; Mason Greenwood

Diogo Dalot returned from injury to face AC Milan in an U19s friendly on Friday evening and for that reason, he could be on the bench against Watford on Sunday. Sergio Romero will most likely be back on the bench following his clean sheet against Colchester United on Wednesday. Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams could be the other defensive players on the bench; Dalot has played a more advanced role in the team when he has played under Solskjaer. Andreas Pereira and James Garner could provide something in midfield if needed with Mason Greenwood being the attacking player on the bench for this match.

Preview: Manchester United out to sting the Hornets on Sunday to start their fight to break into the top four in the Premier League

Watford -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Vicarage Road, Watford

Sunday 22 December 2019, KO 14:00 GMT

Referee: Lee Mason Assistants: Scott Ledger; Simon Long Fourth Official: Graham Scott 

VAR: Martin Atkinson Assistant VAR: Stephen Child

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon when they travel to face Watford at Vicarage Road. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are in much better form heading into the match with them being undefeated in their last six matches. Watford have won once, drawn once and lost four matches in their last six matches and see themselves rooted to the very bottom of the Premier League table.

United will play three times in the space of six days over the Festive period starting on Sunday with this match against Watford. On Boxing Day, Newcastle United will head to Old Trafford with United heading to Burnley two days later. Three matches in six days could be problematic for United, unless they can get some injured players back in the squad or they will be reliant on youth, which is not a big problem.

United will also face a busy month in January with a visit to Arsenal on New Year’s Day which will be followed by six more matches with United facing Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup, Manchester City twice at the semi-final stage of the Carabao Cup and matches in the Premier League against Norwich City at Old Trafford, Liverpool at Anfield and Burnley at Old Trafford.

Form: United are the team to beat in this fixture this weekend with four wins and two draws in their last six matches. Watford have just one win in six matches, losing four times and drawing once.

Manchester United: WDWWWD

Colchester United 3-0 W, Everton 1-1 D, AZ Alkmaar 4-0 W, Manchester City 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 W, Aston Villa 2-2 D

Watford: LDLLLW

Liverpool 2-0 L, Crystal Palace 0-0 D, Leicester City 2-0 L, Southampton 2-1 L, Burnley 3-0 L, Norwich City 2-0 W

Top Scorers: United have scored 42 goals this season, including two own goals whereas Watford have scored just 14. Marcus Rashford has scored 14 goals himself.

Manchester United Goals: 14 – Marcus Rashford, 7 – Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United have their problems but there is no denying that they are improving. If the players on the sidelines through injury can get back into the team quote soon, the squad will be boosted after several months at barebones which has resulted in a number of youth players making their way into the first team. Rashford has scored the same number of goals that this Watford team has scored this season, which will be a positive.

Watford Goals: 2 – Gerard Deulofeu, Andre Gray, Roberto Pereyra, Ismaila Sarr, 1 – Tom Cleverley, Abdoulaye Doucouré, Will Hughes, Daryl Janmaat, Adalberto Peñaranda, Danny Welbeck

Watford have struggled this season and currently find themselves rooted to the very bottom of the Premier League table. They cannot fall any further with matches being played on Saturday. United are currently sixth and could fall lower before they kick a ball on Sunday afternoon. Watford might need a miracle this season but United will need to find a way to beat them as they will defend, causing United problems.

Team News: Paul Pogba back in training and may play before the end of 2019 but not against Watford this weekend. Watford missing Tom Cleverley and Danny Welback plus three others for this match.

United will continue to be without Eric Bailly (knee) and Tim Fosu-Mensah (knee) with both players having already returned to training in a bid to be back at some stage in the New Year. Paul Pogba has returned to training following illness but he will be out of this match and could play again before the end of 2019, according to the manager. Marcos Rojo will also miss this match. Diogo Dalot will return on Friday evening in a friendly match against AC Milan.

Scott McTominay, despite being on the bench, and Fred were both rested against Colchester United on Wednesday so it is expected that the duo will return to the starting XI to face Watford. Daniel James, Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and David De Gea were also rested and should be back in the team to face the Hornets. Jesse Lingard will be fresh despite playing 28 minutes against the League Two club earlier in the week.

Watford manager Nigel Pearson will have a number of players out of action for the visit of United on Sunday. Jose Holebas (ankle/foot), Daryl Janmaat (knee), Sebastian Prodl (knee), and former United teammates Tom Cleverley (heel) and Danny Welbeck (thigh) are also likely to miss the match against their former club. The good news will be that Roberto Pereyra (groin) and Adam Masina (thigh) both returned to training.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial, Rashford, Lingard and James to lead the line against Watford? McTominay and Fred in midfield? De Gea to return in goal?

I do not think that Solskjaer will make many changes from the team which beat Colchester United in the Carabao Cup during the week. I would expect Anthony Martial to keep his place as the striker, although I would like to see what Mason Greenwood could do in the position – I may have to wait for that though. Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Scott McTominay, Fred and David De Gea will all return though.

Match Prediction: United to continue their winning run against Watford this weekend?

United and Watford have played a total of 32 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1950. United have won 22 times, drawn five times and lost five times. The last defeat to Watford came in the Premier League back in September 2016, a 3-1 defeat at Vicarage Road with Etienne Capoue, Juan Zúñiga, and Troy Deeney scoring the goals for Watford with Marcus Rashford getting a consolation.

That defeat ended an 11 match winning run against Watford, which stretched back to February 1987. Since that defeat, United has played Watford five times, winning all five matches. In those five matches, United has scored 11 goals, conceded four goals, keeping a total of two clean sheets. Solskjaer will be seeking to extend that five match winning run to six matches, returning to winning ways in the league.

Watford 0-2 Manchester United

Manchester United fancied to end Watford’s 100% record

Manchester United kick-off a busy few weeks with a tricky looking trip to Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.

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Jose Mourinho’s side started the campaign with a victory over Leicester City, but their defensive frailties were exposed in subsequent defeats by Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur.

However, they bounced back with a comfortable 2-0 success at Burnley before the international break and they look decent bet to follow-up at Vicarage Road.

Watford have won all four games this season to sit alongside Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the table, but their recent record against United is woeful.

The Red Devils did the double over Watford last season, winning 4-2 on the road and 1-0 back at Old Trafford.

United have now won nine of their last 10 meetings with Watford in the Premier League, with their last defeat coming during the 2016/17 campaign.

Etienne Capoue, Juan Zuniga and Troy Deeney got the goals that day, with Marcus Rashford grabbing United’s reply.

Phil Jones and Sergio Romero remain on the sidelines for United this weekend, while Rashford misses the game after receiving a three-match ban following his sending-off at Turf Moor.

Luke Shaw could also out after suffering a concussion during England’s defeat against Spain. Marcos Rojo could replace the full-back, but he played just over 50 minutes for United’s U23s in the 1-1 draw with Reading in the Premier League 2 on Friday evening.

Gerard Deulofeu is close to returning for the home side, but Younes Kaboul and Tom Cleverley are still out.

United will undoubtedly be eager to record a victory this weekend ahead of what is a busy period for the club.

Mourinho’s side face Swiss outfit Young Boys in the Champions League on September 19, before returning to league action against Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend.

Derby County travel to Old Trafford in the EFL Cup the following Tuesday, ahead of a trip to West Ham United in the league on September 29.

United return to European action against Valencia the following Tuesday, before completing a hectic period at home to Newcastle United in the Premier League on October 6.

Watford have certainly started the season well, but United look a solid wager at odds of 9/4 to win 2-0 this weekend.

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What We Learned: Ashley Young has still got it; the Premier League has not already been won!

Manchester United beat Watford 4-2 at Vicarage Road in the Premier League on Tuesday evening. United did not start all that well but scored three goals in the first half with three attempts on target. Ashley Young scored a brace, the first out of nothing, the second from a free-kick. Anthony Martial but United three up before the break to send the supporters into the break expecting a rout. That is not what happened. United

United were not the same team in the second half with Watford seeking to take control of the match, won a penalty in the 77th minute of the match, Troy Deeney stepping up to beat David De Gea and give the side a lifeline. With four minutes remaining, Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a thundering effort to make it game on for Watford. Jesse Lingard thwarted that, restoring United’s two-goal cushion in the 86th minute.

Taking on Manchester City

Many think the title race is over, despite the season not even being at the halfway stage yet, with is pretty silly to suggest. City were eight points ahead of United ahead of this match, United’s victory has seen that reduced to five points and a defeat or a draw for City could show that they are there for the taking. City have been playing well this season, but their trip to Huddersfield showed that they can be thwarted, a team just needs to step up and do just that.

United play City twice, two wins could take the deficit down, providing it is still there after the two matches. United need to keep the pressure on by beating Arsenal on Saturday, again playing before City, which could be the pressure United need. If by the end of the weekend, the deficit is still eight points, United will need to go all out to beat City in the first derby of the season. The Premier League title race is not over yet.

Romelu Lukaku’s goal drought could become a worry… but are supporters to used to moaning?

Romelu Lukaku had his goalscoring boots at the start of the season, but he has lost them. In the last ten matches he has played, Lukaku has scored once, against Newcastle United. He assisted a goal against Watford, which shows he is still getting involved, just unlucky not to find the back of the net, having a few chances himself at Vicarage Road. United supporters need to find something to moan about, Lukaku being the latest in a long line of things over the past few years. Lukaku made his 200th Premier League appearance against Watford and had scored 93 goals in those appearances.

It would have been nice for him to have another goal, but it did not happen. So-called United supporters feel Lukaku needs to be benched, but who will play instead? Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not fit enough to play 90 minutes, especially against Arsenal, unless he is doing things behind closed doors we don’t see, of course. Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford could lead the line, but if it doesn’t work and United lose at Arsenal, will the same supporter blame Jose Mourinho for benching Lukaku?

Ashley Young has really stepped up his game, despite his poor crossing most of the time…

Ashley Young has stepped up his game and made himself crucial to Manchester United right now. It may not last, but right now, he deserves his place in the team. Defensively, he may not be the best, but playing in the left-back or left wing-back position, he is a player who has been consistent. On Saturday against Brighton and Hove Albion, Young was poor defensively, which helped the visitors break through and attack, failing to score a single goal, apart from the one Young send goalwards, Lewis Dunk scoring an own goal. Against Watford, Young scored a goal out of nothing, also scoring a free-kick with United scoring three goals in the first half, despite starting poorly with Watford seemingly in command.

Against Watford, Young scored a goal out of nothing, also scoring a free-kick with United scoring three goals in the first half, despite starting poorly with Watford seemingly in command. Young deserves his place in the team and was the Man of the Match at Vicarage Road, his former club. At 32, his career is hitting the twilight years, but right now, United should utilise him whilst he is in this form, which will show that hard work is what matters, setting a good example to other players and the talented youth at Jose Mourinho’s disposal.

Conclusion

Manchester United are a team still able to challenge this season. Many journalists and pundits have written every club off with City being too hot to handle. City have played some good football, but they are not Teflon coated. They have put in some poor performances this season and despite being undefeated, it is only a matter of time before they get found out. Perhaps they will romp their way to the title, unbeaten this season. Perhaps the Premier League trophy should be handed out at Christmas, then at the end of the season, egg on the face appears. If everything was left to pundits, this game would be in dire straits.

Ratings: Ashley Young in MOTM performance against former club Watford

Manchester United beat Watford 4-2 at Vicarage Road in the Premier League on Tuesday evening. Ashley Young scored a brace, his second of the evening was a precise free-kick beating Heurelho Gomes. Anthony Martial scored the third goal of the evening, assisted by Romelu Lukaku in the 32nd minute of the match. A clinical performance for United. Jesse Lingard scored a solo goal in the 86th minute, restoring a two-goal lead after Watford got the game to 3-2 with six minutes to play.

United did what they needed to do, despite having a rather flat second half and opening five minutes. With Arsenal on the horizon, it was important to keep the chase on Manchester City, cutting their lead to five points, adding some pressure ahead of their match against Southampton on Wednesday evening. United have played some good football this evening, but need to do more to close games down as Watford had United where they wanted them before Jesse Lingard scored United’s fourth goal.

Goals: Ashley Young 19′, 25′, Anthony Martial 32′, Jesse Lingard 86′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 19′, Romelu Lukaku 32′, Ander Herrera 86′

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Smalling, Rojo; Valencia, Matic (Herrera 55′), Pogba, Young; Lingard (Ibrahimovic 88′), Martial (Rashford 64′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Darmian; Mata, McTominay; Ibrahimovic

Bookings: Marcos Rojo 38′

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one had a quiet night and did not have all that much to do. Saying that, he made a few saves but conceded twice. Will be unhappy not to keep a clean sheet.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede has boosted his confidence in the last few matches, playing a solid game in a back three against Watford.

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Chris Smalling

Smalling did what he needed to do, was solid defensively but could not do anything to stop Watford scoring twice.

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16 Marcos Rojo

The Argentinian seemed to be in god form despite making his second appearance of the season. Gave away a clear penalty, but did enough to make up for that.

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25 Antonio Valencia

Led by example. In the past two-three seasons, the Ecuadorian has improved despite playing a more defensive position, still attacking well, which is good for United now.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Came off injured which could be a worry for Saturday's match at Arsenal. Was not the best performance for the Serbian.

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6 Paul Pogba

Had a lot of energy and ran the game in midfield. His runs on the ball were sublime and those who criticised him, will not see how stupid they sound.

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18 Ashley Young

MOTM. Brilliant performance from Young. Scored the first goal out of nothing, scored the second from a free-kick. Showed that at 32, his career is far from over.

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14 Jesse Lingard

A Marmite player. Gets criticism which is unwarranted at times. The way people moan, he has no ability. Scored a brace against Swansea and a sublime solo effort tonight. Knock the criticism off.

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9 Anthony Martial

Scored another goal this evening, with a clinical finish. Played his socks off in the first half and for some of the second, before being replaced.

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Romelu Lukaku

Got an assist, failed to score. So-called fans want him dropped against Arsenal. Not sure what United fans expect. Goal droughts are part and parcel of this game.

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Substitutes

21 Ander Herrera

Replaced Matic 55'. Did well after replacing the Serbian. Got the assist for Lingard's goal. Might have to play as the holding midfielder on Saturday.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Martial 64'. Got involved as soon as he got on the pitch. Unable to score, maybe he will go just that against Arsenal, again!

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10 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Replaced Lingard 88'. Had a cameo. Needed more time to reach peak fitness.

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Report: Ashley Young inspires Manchester United to Watford victory

Manchester United beat Watford 4-2 at Vicarage Road in the Premier League on Tuesday evening. Ashley Young scored a brace, his second of the evening was a precise free-kick beating Heurelho Gomes. Anthony Martial scored the third goal of the evening, assisted by Romelu Lukaku in the 32nd minute of the match. A clinical performance for United. Jesse Lingard scored a solo goal in the 86th minute, restoring a two-goal lead after Watford got the game to 3-2 with six minutes to play.

Jose Mourinho made one change to his side which beat Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday. Marcos Rojo replaced Marcus Rashford in the starting XI with the manager changing the formation to a 3-4-3 variation. United started the match in good stead but so did Watford. The first real chance came in the seventh minute as Richarlison could not get onto a dangerous cross.

In the tenth minute, Richarlison put in a beauty of a ball into Andre Gray and he got ahead of Marcos Rojo but was inches away from getting a touch on the ball. An easy one for David De Gea to pick up. United were not doing so well in the eleventh minute, losing too many 50/50’s which would encourage Watford to press them harder. Kiko Femenia found some space but Rojo blocked his eventual cross.

United had little possession in their own half with Watford on top of the game in the 13th minute, which was not good but United just did not seem to be warmed up in the match, which was more of a worry. United won a corner in the 15th minute which Jesse Lingard took. The ball was cleared, but Lingard regained possession with Richarlison getting the ball and making the clearance.

Embed from Getty Images

United were being overrun in the midfield in the 17th minute, with Watford sniffing out a goal, but not actually getting there yet. Victor Lindelof started a counter attack, feeding the ball to Paul Pogba who then flicked the ball to Lingard. The attack ended with Anthony Martial in the box, being snuffed out of the attack.

United took the lead in the 19th minute through Ashley Young, scoring out of absolutely nothing. Lingard was found by Romelu Lukaku after a turn on the halfway line, it then looked like the chance had gone with Lingard dwelling on the ball. He then found Young on the left, whose volley from 20-yards gave Heurelho Gomes no chance to make the save, 1-0 to United.

Abdoulaye Doucoure was booked in the 24th minute with United winning a free-kick in good range of the goal. Young stepped up to take the set-piece beating Gomes for the second time this evening. Young had his brace and was now on a hat-trick. United, despite starting the game sluggishly, were on top after 25 minutes. Lindelof was looking rather composed tonight, settling in at his new club.

United scored a third goal through Martial in the 32nd minute of the match in what was starting to look like a clinical performance for Mourinho’s side. Christian Kabasele failed to make the clearance of a long ball, which allowed Lukaku to tap the ball forward for Martial with the Frenchman through on goal. He finished easily sweeping his low ball past Gomes.

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After scoring three goals in quick succession, Watford were pegged back in their own half with a resurgent United wanting more. In the 38th minute, Lingard found himself in space on the right, dinking the ball into the six-yard box, but it was cleared be Kabasele. Rojo was booked in the same minute for a challenge on Gray, who out-muscled him.

United won a free-kick in the 41st minute after Martial was fouled with a late and clumsy challenge by Adrian Mariappa with Young squaring up to take the resulting free-kick, which was within his range. The kick hit the wall with Watford creating an attack, putting the ball out of play for a United throw-in. United had another chance through Lingard and Lukaku, which the former seeing his effort saved.

Watford nearly found a goal back in stoppage time with Richarlison heading towards goal, De Gea having it covered and the ball clearing the crossbar. United had the goal kick, which ended the half. Martial was unplayable at times in the first half, with United seeking more in the second half, perhaps making some changes to rest some players ahead of Saturday’s trip to Arsenal.

Neither manager made a change at the start of the second half, which you can understand for Mourinho and United after the side playing so well in the first half. Watford had a chance to create something in the first few minutes of the second half with Tom Cleverley putting in a decent cross, De Gea coming off his line to grab the ball, nullifying the attack.

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Lukaku made his 200th Premier League appearance this evening, scoring 93 goals in total, which is not a bad scoring rate for the player. Watford had a corner in the 52nd minute of the game and De Gea was trapped on his line. Rojo headed the ball clear, giving away another corner which came to nothing for the home side, other than setting up United on another counter-attack.

Lukaku had the chance to score for United, the Belgian being in space but the ball was not fed through quick enough, his first touch was brilliant but his shot was wide of the target with Lingard advancing but too far to send the ball into the back of the net. Mourinho made his first substitution with Ander Herrera replacing Nemanja Matic, the Serbian midfielder suffering from a knock.

Watford made a double substitution with Will Hughes, suffering from a hamstring injury and Sebastian Prodl being replaced by Andre Carrillo and Roberto Pereyra. Doucoure had a chance in the 62nd minute of the match, firing a long-range effort towards goal, off target and rising over the crossbar. Watford had another chance through Richarlison, heading wide of the target.

United made their second substitution with Martial being replaced by Marcus Rashford in the 64th minute of the match, maintaining his record of playing in every match this season, seven games without a goal. Lingard won a free-kick in the 65th minute,  which was taken quickly by Pogba with Lingard chasing it and winning a corner, which came to nothing.

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Watford created an attack in the 69th minute with United running back to defend. They averted Watford getting anything with the home side still in possession in United’s half, passing the ball around the pitch. Watford got the ball into the box again with Young making the clearance which was followed by an optimistic effort from Mariappa, which sailed wide of the target.

Watford made their third and final change in the 72nd minute with Gray being replaced by Troy Deeney, fresh from a three-match suspension. Doucoure had another chance, scuffing his shot which was almost in for Deeney, but resulted in United running on the counter through Pogba, Watford recovering possession before United broke through again through Antonio Valencia, winning a free-kick.

Pogba had the chance from the free-kick, the ball being looped into the box, the Frenchman having a free header which sailed over the crossbar. United had another chance through Lukaku, unable to take his first shot, and the second being cleared after Rashford broke into the box and set the chance up for United. Lukaku missed again a few minutes later, wanting that goal this evening.

Watford got a penalty with 14 minutes remaining after Rojo fouled Pereyra, Deeney stepping up to take the spot-kick, beating De Gea and Watford getting the lifeline. Deeney had another chance in the 80th minute, heading towards goal, De Gea making the save easily. Watford broke through again, putting a cross into the box, which had too much placed on the ball. Goal kick for United.

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In the 83rd minute, United were on the attack against through Lingard, who tried to chip the keeper, but his effort was wide of the target. Doucoure had a chance to create something, seeing his shot cut out with a block by Rojo. Moments later, Doucoure scored a stunning goal with a cross being floated into the box. 3-2 now and Watford were back in the game. United’s match to lose now.

United scored a fourth with Lingard scoring an incredible solo effort in the 87th minute of the match, restoring the two-goal cushion, pressing for the victory. Mourinho made his third and final change with Zlatan Ibrahimovic replacing Lingard, the Swede making his 50th United appearance. Watford won a corner in the 90th minute of the match, which came to nothing.

Four minutes were added at the end of the second half, Watford still trying to get themselves back into the game, pressuring United, who defensively, were doing what they needed to do to stop the side from getting another goal. United won the match, 4-2, another goalscoring effort to send a message to the Premier League, also clawing City’s lead to five points with them facing Southampton on Wednesday.

Goals: Ashley Young 19′, 25′, Anthony Martial 32′, Jesse Lingard 86′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 19′, Romelu Lukaku 32′, Ander Herrera 86′

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Smalling, Rojo; Valencia, Matic (Herrera 55′), Pogba, Young; Lingard (Ibrahimovic 88′), Martial (Rashford 64′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Darmian; Mata, McTominay; Ibrahimovic

Bookings: Marcos Rojo 38′

Confirmed Starting XI: 3-4-3 for Manchester United? Lingard, Lukaku & Martial lead the attack!

Manchester United travel to Watford in the Premier League on Tuesday evening, seeking to overcome last season’s defeat at Vicarage Road by continuing their winning run in the Premier League. Jose Mourinho’s friend, Marco Silva manages Watford and he has praised the side ahead of the fixture, which will be shown live on BT Sport 1HD in the United Kingdom. At the weekend, aiming to recover from a midweek defeat away to Basel, United welcomed Brighton and Hove Albion to Old Trafford for the first time in 24 years – resulting in a 1-0 victory for United, but with a goal scored by Lewis Dunk after Ashley Young’s effort was deflected into the top corner of the net.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Smalling, Rojo;

Valencia, Matic, Pogba, Young;

Lingard, Martial;

Lukaku

Substitutes:

Romero; Darmian; Mata, Herrera, McTominay; Ibrahimovic, Rashford

Manchester United and Watford have played 28 matches in the history of both clubs – the first, a 1-0 victory for United in the FA Cup, was played on the 28th January 1950 with Jack Rowley scoring the only goal of the game. United have won 18 times, drawn five and lost five – which shows consistency against Watford. The last game United lost to Watford was at Vicarage Road last season, on the 18th September 2016 – the third match of a three-match beaten streak which commenced with the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford, the last match United had lost at home.

In that match, Marcus Rashford scored a consolation for United in the 62nd minute, which was the equaliser at the time, canceling out Etienne Capoue’s opener, but in the 83rd minute, Camilo Zúñiga put Watford ahead with Troy Deeney scoring a penalty in the 90th minute. Prior to that defeat, United had an eleven match winning run over Watford, lasting from the 14th February 1987 until the 2nd March 2016, scoring 29 goals and conceding seven goals – also keeping five clean sheets.

Preview: Mourinho seeking victory over Silva’s Watford on Tuesday night!

Watford -v- Manchester United

Premier League 2017/18

Vicarage Road, Watford

Tuesday 28th November 2017; KO 20:00 BST

Live on BT Sport 1HD in the United Kingdom

Manchester United travel to Watford in the Premier League on Tuesday evening, seeking to overcome last season’s defeat at Vicarage Road by continuing their winning run in the Premier League. Jose Mourinho’s friend, Marco Silva manages Watford and he has praised the side ahead of the fixture, which will be shown live on BT Sport 1HD in the United Kingdom. At the weekend, aiming to recover from a midweek defeat away to Basel, United welcomed Brighton and Hove Albion to Old Trafford for the first time in 24 years – resulting in a 1-0 victory for United, but with a goal scored by Lewis Dunk after Ashley Young’s effort was deflected into the top corner of the net.

United will be seeking a victory over Watford, who are full of confidence after winning their last two league matches, the latest a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United, the team that United beat 4-1 at Old Trafford just over a week ago. This will be the final match of November for United, as they look to head into a tough December, which will see nine matches played across the month, one in the UEFA Champions League, a Carabao Cup trip to Bristol City and seven Premier League matches, including Arsenal away and the Manchester derby at Old Trafford. Mourinho’s side will need to get themselves in good form for December, as at the end of the month, it could see them drop from second in the league. Beating Arsenal and Manchester City is a must.

Previous Matches: Manchester United the dominant side in the 28 matches played but Watford have proved they are good enough to beat them…

Manchester United and Watford have played 28 matches in the history of both clubs – the first, a 1-0 victory for United in the FA Cup, was played on the 28th January 1950 with Jack Rowley scoring the only goal of the game. United have won 18 times, drawn five and lost five – which shows consistency against Watford. The last game United lost to Watford was at Vicarage Road last season, on the 18th September 2016 – the third match of a three-match beaten streak which commenced with the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford, the last match United had lost at home.

In that match, Marcus Rashford scored a consolation for United in the 62nd minute, which was the equaliser at the time, canceling out Etienne Capoue’s opener, but in the 83rd minute, Camilo Zúñiga put Watford ahead with Troy Deeney scoring a penalty in the 90th minute. Prior to that defeat, United had an eleven match winning run over Watford, lasting from the 14th February 1987 until the 2nd March 2016, scoring 29 goals and conceding seven goals – also keeping five clean sheets.

Form: Manchester United are in much better form this season but will need to get over their defeat in this fixture last season

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Manchester United started their season in fine fettle, scoring ten goals in the opening three Premier League matches beating West Ham United and Swansea City 4-0 and Leicester City 2-0. The fourth match, a 2-2 draw with Stoke City saw United concede their first two goals of the season. United then beat Everton and Crystal Palace 4-0, also beating Southampton 1-0 in between those two matches. Then came a 0-0 draw with Liverpool, the first time United had failed to score in the league this season. United were then beaten 2-1 by Huddersfield Town, beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 then were defeated 1-0 by Chelsea.

A 4-1 victory over Newcastle United saw United score for fun again, followed by a 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend. United are second in the Premier League, eight points adrift of leaders Manchester City. In the Carabao Cup. United have beaten Burton Albion 4-1 and Swansea City 2-0 – facing Bristol City next month. In the UEFA Champions League, United have won four out of five matches, losing one, needing a point to earn a knockout stage place from their sixth and final match next month.

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Watford started the season well, drawing 3-3 with Liverpool, then beating Bournemouth 2-0. A 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion then followed, with Watford also pulling  2-0 victory over Southampton. The fifth match of the season was their first defeat, a 6-0 thriller against Manchester City. Watford then beat Swansea City and Arsenal 2-1 with a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion in between the two wins. A three-match losing streak then followed with a 4-2 defeat to Chelsea, a 1-0 defeat to Stoke City and a 3-2 defeat to Everton.

Watford have won their last two league matches; a 2-0 victory over West Ham United and a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United. Watford sit in eighth place ahead of the visit of Manchester United, a point behind seventh-placed Burnley and five points ahead of Brighton. Watford were knocked out of the Carabao Cup after being defeated 3-2 by Bristol City in the second round of the league cup, United’s opposition in the fifth round of the tournament. Marco Silva has done well with his club this season.

Team News: Injuries coming to an end as Manchester United look to be injury free for December

Jose Mourinho has seen Marcos Rojo, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all return to action in the last week, boosting his squad for the busy part of the season. Michael Carrick has also confirmed he is seeking a comeback after overcoming heart issues over the past few months. On the sidelines, United currently have Phil Jones and Eric Bailly, both of whom are seeking a comeback themselves in the near future, which will leave United with a full squad to pick from, strengthening their squad during the busy Festive period. It is suggested that Mourinho may tighten things up against Watford after the space allowed to both Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion in the last two Premier League matches. The manager said:

“It was difficult for Pobga and [Nemanja] Matic to press. Marcus [Rashford] and [Anthony] Martial, [are] without the tactical knowledge that another player has to close the spaces in between the full-back and winger so, even with Paul, we were a little bit in trouble.”

Predicted Starting XI: Manchester United to play 4-3-3 to pack the midfield a little more against Watford?

Match Prediction: Manchester United to overcome defeat in this fixture last season by going out to prove a point!

Watford 1-2 Manchester United

copyright: JW