Manchester United vs Watford Summary
A drab affair at Old Trafford as United hosted Watford in the FA Cup. United made nine changes to the side who lost in the Carabao Cup Semi-Final. Only Henderson and McTominay survived the mass changes. Watford were without Foster, Cleverley and Deeney for different reasons but still fielded a strong squad against United. The Reds found the lead in an electric start as Telles’ whipped corner was glanced in by McTominay. The first-time captain of United used the power on the cross to divert it past the Hornets’ goalkeeper.
An injury forced Eric Bailly off just before half time for Maguire. After the match, Bailly stated it was a knock and he would be back soon. A relief to all United fans as his form has been crucial to United’s good form. A poor second half compelled Ole to bring on Rashford, Martial and Matic but, while they sealed the win, they failed to score more. It was a boring game but in the cup a win is more important than a performance. United need a win on Tuesday as they travel to an in-form Burnley. A win would send them three points clear at the top going into the Liverpool game and they have to win it.
Manchester United vs Watford Player Ratings
Dean Henderson 7.5/10
Still looks a bit nervous in goal but we have seen that with David de Gea when he just started out. His confidence will come the more he plays. Some decent sweeper keeping and good distribution.
Brandon Williams 6.5/10
Never really caused problems in attack but solid in defence. He is not ready to offer competition to Wan-Bissaka and needs a loan away in my opinion.
Eric Bailly 6/10
Good all half and some excellent distribution. Was clattered by Henderson and looked a bad injury. He has stated that he is alright now and it wasjust a knock. I hope he starts at Anfield.
Axel Tuanzebe 7/10
A decent performance as his recovery pace was crucial in stopping Sarr in the first half. Some solid play but I still think he needs a bit more time before he is a first team starter. There is more to come from him this season.
Alex Telles 8/10
Some dangerous crosses including a game-winning assist. Solid in defence and recovered well from attacking positions. Will offer Shaw a lot of competition and a winning mentality to this squad.
Scott McTominay 9/10
Dominant display in midfield. A class header to win the game and some excellent passes and movement in the midfield. This game means a lot for him as he captained the side for the first time and played excellently. He would die for this club and you cannot put a price on that.
Donny van de Beek 8.5/10
If it wasn’t for McTominay’s goal, Donny would have a MOTM because he was brilliant. 95% passing accuracy and a robust defensive performance demonstrated how complete he is as a midfielder. I still don’t think he is ready to replace either Fred or McTominay in the Premier League yet but in time he will.
Juan Mata 7/10
A lively performance but failed to take his chances. Still showed his class when required.
Jesse Lingard 6/10
Some decent passing and got into good positions in the early moments but then couldn’t get in the game. Of the number 10’s we have he is not close to Bruno, Donny or Mata. I think, sadly, his time has come.
Daniel James 6.5/10
Very dangerous in the early stages but failed to make a real impact for the rest of the game. I think he has a lot to offer on and off the ball so a loan deal isn’t worth it for either the player or the club.
Mason Greenwood 6/10
He struggled to get into the game as the number nine and caused more problems in wider areas. This game is a sign that he is not quite ready to lead the line but he has plenty of time to improve in this area and the perfect manager to do just that.
Harry Maguire 7/10
While he wasn’t expected to play today, he came on and dominated the box. As Watford got more and more set pieces, he became more and more involved.
Marcus Rashford 6/10
A couple of dangerous runs but no final product. Will need more from him on Tuesday.
Anthony Martial 6/10
Barely touched the ball but made some darting runs when on it.
Nemanja Matic 7/10
Solid and composed. Played well and I hope he starts against Burnley as his distribution and strength on the ball will be crucial to United’s success.
Man of the Match: Scott McTominay
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 7/10
Made changes that rested key players but still offered a lot of quality and enough to beat Watford. He was clearly frustrated that the scoreline was not higher after 25 minutes and even more so when Bailly was forced off. He had to bring in more quality but still could not secure the win. Nevertheless he did the right thing and showed a lot of respect to Watford. Solskjaer will take the win and move on to the bigger games in the next 7 days as his team need to win and emphatically.