Manchester United secured a 2-1 victory over Watford courtesy of goals from Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling. There were some tense moments in the injury time, as Nemanja Matic’s dismissal left United with a man short. However, Jose Mourinho’s men survived those last few minutes to pick up a win.
Here are the player ratings:
David de Gea: 8/10
De Gea was back to his best yet again, helping the team secure three points with a stupendous save from a header in the 94th minute. He was largely left undisturbed, but the Spaniard displayed his concentration and agility by making some top-drawer saves in the final stages of the game.
Antonio Valencia: 6/10
It was a relatively better performance from United’s captain as Valencia involved himself in the buildup more and was usually getting into crossing positions. He was a bit slow to release the ball at times but delivered two accurate crosses in the game.
Chris Smalling: 8/10
Smalling defended ruggedly, as he made nine clearances and won seven aerial duels. Additionally, his control from the chest and the left footed shot for the goal was sumptuous and crucial from the overall perspective of the match.
Victor Lindelof: 7/10
The Swede responded well to the physical challenges imposed upon him by Troy Deeney. He made four interceptions, three clearances and blocked the ball twice. Lindelof was assured with the ball at his feet and delivered one of his better performances.
Ashley Young: 7/10
Young’s unique set-piece deliveries were an integral part of both goals scored by United against the Hornets. He delivered 13 crosses, made three clearances and kept up the pace with a much younger Will Hughes from the same flank.
Marouane Fellaini: 8/10
The Belgian used his physicality to dominate the opposition players, but most importantly Fellaini tracked and stayed close to them while defending. His contributions were vital in both the goals, but Fellaini’s aerial presence provided United with an edge over their opponents. He won five aerial duels, made five clearances and even registered an assist for Smalling’s goal.
Nemanja Matic: 7/10
Playing in a slightly advanced position, Matic used his footwork and flair to some extent. He usually charged ahead from the inner channels and made diagonal runs to take the ball forward. The Serbian made two interceptions and four clearances but was sent off in the final minute of the match due to a foul on Will Hughes. Matic will miss the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend.
Paul Pogba: 6/10
Pogba was brilliant in the first half, as he made the correct runs and displayed maturity in his decision making too. He was constantly providing service and switched the play onto the other flank with some excellent passes. However, his performance was comparatively poor in the second half, which somewhat reflected in the team’s performance too.
Alexis Sanchez: 5/10
Sanchez showed good energy and was certainly better in patches, but there is still an aura of uncertainty and sloppiness in his gameplay at United. He provided one key pass and completed one dribble still it was a very frustrating outing for the Chilean.
Jesse Lingard: 6/10
Lingard drifted across the forward line and was constantly picking up half spaces in and around the penalty box. He provided three crosses and his movement without the ball helped the team open up spaces for the other players or Valencia from the right flank.
Romelu Lukaku: 6/10
Lukaku worked tenaciously without the ball, as initially, he tried to stretch Watford’s watertight backline by drifting across on numerous occasions. His reaction towards Young’s intended cross was like a poacher, as the Belgian notched a very important first goal for the team.
Anthony Martial: 5/10
Martial’s inability to beat an opposition player a few minutes after coming on infuriated Mourinho, as that led to Watford launching a quick counter-attack. Otherwise, the Frenchman was hardly involved barring a couple of situations in the final twenty minutes.
Scott McTominay: N.A
McTominay was brought in to add more steel to United’s midfield. However, he merely had four touches on the ball and hence a very negligible impact too.
Eric Bailly: N.A
Bailly came in for Valencia, to provide the team with a formidable aerial presence in the last minute of the match.