Manchester United vs Watford Match Analysis

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Image from Reuters UK

Manchester United returned to premier league action on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Old Trafford, as usual, was in perfect condition. The game was attended by 74,543 people and watched by millions all over the world. What was surprising, though, was that Watford absolutely bossed the game and Manchester United were lucky to leave the pitch with all the three points.

Manchester United went into the game 16 points ahead of Watford, a gap that has since been increased to 19. Both teams came into this game on the back of league defeats – United lost to Arsenal while Watford lost to Manchester City. The last time Manchester United lost to Watford was in 2016 in a 3-1 away loss but ever since, in subsequent meetings, Manchester United came out victorious with the previous being a 1-0 win.

First Half
As mentioned above, Watford bossed the game fully. In the first half, United showed glimpses of coming back into the game after the 20th minute. As early as the 6th minute, there was a scare from Abdoulaye Doucoure and another in the 8th minute by Troy Deeney. We must be thankful to that partnership of Jones and Smalling that was pretty much solid.
Watford had control over the game and had many chances from Will Hughes and Roberto Pereyra to name a few. United’s breakthrough came in the 28th minute when Rashford fired home from a fine pass from Luke Shaw. There after, there were chances from Rashford and Martial just before the break but the young forwards could not find the finish. 

Second Half
This was our worst half in the game. Most of the players were off form during this half and was actually admitted by Luke Shaw and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the post-match interviews.
Watford kept the scares coming in with unsuccessful attempts from Gerald Deulofeu, Adam Masina, Daryl Janmaat and Roberto Pereyra among others. Manchester United made a double change four minutes after Kiko Femenia had replaced Janmaat in the 63rd minute. Jesse Lingard came on for Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira came on for Ander Herrera. The effect of the subs was felt as they combined to create our second goal of that day that came from Anthony Martial. A few minutes later, Martial was replaced by Rojo, who made his debut under Ole this season. Things seemed to have settled but the players of Watford never gave up trying.  In the 90th minute, Doucoure scored a fantastic team goal to halve the deficit. Manchester United hung on for the next few minutes and secured the three points.

A big shout out to Stuart Attwell, the main match official who handled the match. There were no incompetencies from his office today. From this game, we saw that our players are fatigued and not their normal selves. Martial was below his usual form today and it showed. We hope our next games have a great improvement in the performance. Next up, we travel to Wolves, who kicked us out of the FA Cup. This game will be played on Tuesday night. Martial limped off today but we hope he is in great shape to play on Tuesday night.

Author: TUD Author