Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling scored two goals as Manchester United ended Watford’s winning streak. The lone goal from Andre Gray could not save Watford who tasted their first defeat of the season. While Manchester United came away with three points from the hosts and performed a feat which even the Spurs could not at Vicarage Road.
Lukaku opened the scoring for United followed by Chris Smalling in mere minutes. These two goals proved sufficient for United’s victory, though Watford did not give a disappointing performance either.
In fact, the Hornets were the better side in the initial part of the game. It took all the skill and agility of David De Gea to prevent Watford from getting the lead. Especially his heroics against Troy Deeney’s shot was quite spectacular.
In the 35th minute, Lukaku scored and tipped the balance in favor of United. The Belgium international found Ashley Young’s cross and used his stomach to find the net. It looked like this goal hugely relieved United of their pressures for they looked more aggressive and dominating after that.
The Red Devils could really have scored two more goals in just three minutes’ time had Pogba’s goal attempt not thwarted by Ben Foster. However, even the brilliant goal-keeper had no answer to the spectacular volley of Chris Smalling who controlled Fellaini’s headed ball on his chest and then quickly got it home for their second goal. The delight of under-pressure Jose Mourinho was quite something to behold.
In the second half, Watford came out stronger and managed to score a goal after 20 minutes into the half. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s cut-back reached Andre Gray who did not waste any time to fire the ball past De Gea. The Hornets tried really hard to level the scores, though their efforts did not bear fruit due to United’s excellent defending.
In the final minutes of the game, Nemanja Matic left the field after his second booking. While De Gea produced an unbelievable save for United when mere seconds were remaining.
After the match, a happy Mourinho expressed his feelings thus:
“Very happy with the points. Very happy with the spirit. Very happy with something that represents the spirit of the team – Romelu Lukaku’s sliding tackle after 50 metres running back to help the team.”
Manchester United has now secured 3 important points to jump to the eighth spot in the table. Not a good improvement one can say, however, they have at least got back to their winning form. Their next encounter will be against Young Boys in the Champions League.