Watford vs Manchester United: Match Analysis

It was a bad day out on the road yet again for Manchester United, this time at Vicarage Road. The Reds were defeated by four goals to one against Claudio Ranieri’s Watford. It was widely reported on Saturday night that time is up for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher set to take charge on an interim basis. 

A dominant first 45 minutes from Ranieri’s Watford

As usual, Manchester United started off slowly. With 11 minutes on the clock, Ismaila Sarr saw both of his penalties saved by David de Gea. Initially, Sarr’s spot-kick was saved by De Gea and hammered in on the rebound by Kiko Femenia. With VAR insisting the penalty should be retaken due to encroachment, Sarr’s second kick was saved again. United’s number one has now saved the last two penalties he has faced, with the previous coming against Mark Noble.

Solskjaer’s side struggled to get a foothold in the game, looking disjointed across the park. With 28 minutes gone, it was former Manchester United man, Joshua King who put the Hornets ahead. King’s left footed shot found its way into the back of the next after a good piece of work from Emmanuel Dennis on the left.

It didn’t get any better for the Reds. Kiko Femenia skipped past half-hearted tackles from Luke Shaw and Jadon Sancho before setting up Ismaila Sarr for his goal. Harry Maguire was too slow in getting out to the Senegalese winger, who hammered into the bottom left corner of David de Gea’s goal. United went into the break two goals down.

More of the same in the second half

At the break, Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek were brought on to try and salvage something for United. It was the Dutchman who sparked United into life for a short while. Cristiano Ronaldo’s header back across goal was met by Van de Beek on the 50th minute mark. The momentum didn’t last long, with Watford going onto pepper the United goal.

Manchester United captain, Harry Maguire was sent off soon after. The England centre-back had come under huge amounts of scrutiny due to his performances in a red shirt. Maguire now misses United’s outing to Stamford Bridge next Sunday as they take on table-toppers Chelsea.

Watford managed to score two goals in injury time, with goals from João Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis. Dennis was awarded the Barclays Man of the match award, contributing two assists and a goal to his sides victory. His goal wrapped up a miserable afternoon for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United. United have just one win in their last seven Premier League games.

What next for United?

Manchester United face a tough test in the Basque Country of Spain. United face Unai Emery’s Villarreal in the Champions League. Villarreal sit 12th in La Liga, managing just one win in their last five games. But with the form United are currently in, a win for the Yellow Submarine wouldn’t come at any surprise to anyone.

Author: Aadam Haladh