Watford 1-2 Man Utd: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Red Devils Hold Off Hornets for Vital Win

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Manchester United secured a second consecutive victory after overcoming Watford thanks to goals in quick succession from Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling.

Andre Gray pulled one back for the Hornets in the second half but Javi Gracia’s side were denied by an in form David de Gea, who made a number of eye-catching stops.

Watford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

Check out our breakdown of the game below.


​WATFORD

Key Talking Point

Following their win over Tottenham before the international break, the Hornets looked good value for a potential upset over United.

However, while they pressed the Red Devils heavily in the second half, things never quite fell into place for Javi Gracia’s side, who also lost their perfect start to the Premier League season with defeat.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Foster (6), Janmaat (6), Cathcart (6), Kabasele (7), Holebas (7), Doucoure (7), Capoue (6), Hughes (7), Pereyra (6), Deeney (6), Gray (7)

Substitutes: Feminia (6), Masina (6), Success (6).


STAR MAN – Considered one of the best central midfielders outside the top six in England’s top flight, Abdoulaye Doucoure supplied the assist for Andre Gray’s strike and battled hard in midfield.

Watford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

WORST PLAYER – After a brilliant start to the season, Roberto Pereyra was disappointingly quiet for Saturday’s game.

The former Juventus attacker has three goals so far this term but never looked quite as threatening as he has in previous fixtures against Brighton, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Tottenham.


MANCHESTER UNITED

Key Talking Point

Jose Mourinho will be pleased with the fight his players have shown following the 3-0 loss to Tottenham.

After smashing Burnley, United shot into a two-goal lead at Vicarage Road with a quick pair of strikes from Lukaku and Smalling, and the away team had to show real character to get through the game relatively unscathed.

Watford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

Mourinho will hope his side can take their newly acquired form into their next game, a Champions League fixture at Young Boys.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: De Gea (7), Valencia (6), Smalling (8), Lindelof (6), Young (7), Pogba (7), Fellaini (7), Matic (6), Lingard (6), Lukaku (7), Sanchez (6).


​Substitutes: Martial (6), McTominay (6), Bailly (N/A)


STAR MAN – Scoring what ultimately proved to be the winning goal, Smalling ensured United climbed to eighth in the Premier League with a solid defensive display.

While Andre Gray’s 65th minute effort made the game tense for Jose Mourinho’s side, Smalling was dominant at the back and made sure United got over the line. An honourable mention must also go to Marouane Fellaini, who was also brilliant.

Watford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

WORST PLAYER – Alexis Sanchez lacked service on Saturday night and also failed to make any kind of clear cut opportunity for himself.

He was brought off towards the end of the match for Scott McTominay but United fans will definitely be worried by Sanchez’s lack of form, with the Chilean registering just one assist in four Premier League appearances so far this season.


Looking Ahead

Next up for ​Watford is a trip to Craven Cottage to play Fulham, before travelling to MK Dons for their Carabao Cup tie with Tottenham.

​United have Champions League football to look forward to on Wednesday as they fly to Switzerland to play Young Boys, before a home fixture with Wolverhampton Wanderers.




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