Anything short of 3 points on this day and Manchester United would not even be considered a contender for a top 4 finish this term. Back to back losses against Brighton and Tottenham had tongues wagging on issues within the club but a comfortable 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor just before the international break calmed the nerves of fans and probably even buy the gaffer more time. Today’s fixture saw Watford play host to my beloved team Manchester United at their home ground of Vicarage Road.
The starting line-up for United put out by Jose Mourinho was not one I was happy with but hey he knows the job better. Seeing Maroune Fellaini in midfield with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba was not something I envisaged or could have conceived in my mind, but my thoughts didn’t matter as long as we left Vicarage road with all 3 points.
The first half saw both sides knocking the ball from end to end but Watford having the better chances with David De Gea in goal for United making a couple of wonderful saves though it can also be said that Ben Foster (Watford’s goalie) kept his goal free from danger in the early stages of the game. The Red Devils however had Alexis Sanchez’s goal rightly disallowed for offside in the 24th minute. It was hard for the Watford keeper to stop Romelu Lukaku from putting United 1 up in the 35th minute. I didn’t have to wait too long before Chris Smalling doubled Man Utd’s lead. Smalling’s finish was one that would make any striker green with envy. United came close in getting a 3rd but Paul Pogba’s effort was well saved by Foster.
First half ended 2-0.
The second half kicked off with Watford superficially taking charge in terms of possession but not getting anything positive out of it. It was not until the 65th minute before respite came in form of a goal for the Hornets. Abdoulaye Doucore set up Andre Gray who put the ball past De Gea in goal for United to make scores 2-1 and pile pressure on Man Utd. From that moment on it was all about Watford. United failed to create chances to bury the game with just one shot in the second half and it was not even on target. Two great saves by De Gea from Doucore and Christian Kabasele towards the end of the game ensured the Red Devils snatched all 3 points on offer even though Nemanja Matic added to the pressure when he got sent off for a second bookable offense.
It was a nervy finish to a game which had Watford written all over it in terms of possession and chances created.
The loss meant Watford lost their 100% start to the season leaving Chelsea and league leaders Liverpool as the only sides to have won all of their 5 league games. The first time this is happening in a while. Man of the match for me had to be David De Gea.
On a lighter note, if Man Utd would always get a red card but still end up winning their games, then I will gladly take that.
Thanks for your time guys and enjoy the rest of your weekend.