Player Ratings: Watford 2-4 Man Utd

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Manchester United ran out 4-2 winners at Vicarage Road this evening.

The three points move us to within five points of Premier League leaders Manchester City who entertain Southampton at the Etihad tomorrow.

Ashley Young scored the first two goals in the opening 25 minutes, both cracking strikes before poor defending from Watford led to Anthony Martial making it 3-0 just after the half hour mark.  Troy Deeney scored what seemed to be just a consolation from the penalty spot in the final quarter-of-an-hour before Abdoulaye Doucoure poked home a second goal for the hosts in the final 10 minutes.

Jesse Lingard then scored one of the goals of the season by running with the ball from inside his own half taking it past numerous defenders and placing it across goal past Gomes to seal the three points.

Here is how our players fared:

David de Gea 6

Watford scored with their only two shots on target – the first a Troy Deeney penalty and then an Abdoulaye Doucoure strike from around the penalty spot.  David de Gea didn’t have a chance with either.

Victor Lindelof 8

An excellent performance from the Swede as part of a back three, keeping Richarlison quiet all game.  Stuck tight to the Brazilian to prevent the Watford playmaker and goalscorer from causing any problems.

Chris Smalling 7

Not involved in the concession of the penalty and Chris Smalling had had a comfortable game before the final quarter-of-an-hour.  The centre-back didn’t get close enough to deny Doucoure from scoring Watford’s second.

Marcos Rojo 7

Received a booking in the first half for wrestling Andre Gray to the ground to prevent the Watford striker running into space down the right wing.  Otherwise a solid game from the Argentine until he needlessly conceded a penalty for a foul on behind on Roberto Pereya.

Antonio Valencia 7

Comfortable defensive game against Marvin Zeegelaar.  Antonio Valencia didn’t offer a great deal going forward but didn’t need to as the rest of the team had the game settled before half-time.

Paul Pogba 8

Won a number of free kicks when running at the Watford midfield and defence including the one from which Ashley Young made it 2-0.  Paul Pogba missed a great chance to make it 4-0 but the French star put in another good performance.

Nemanja Matic 7

Watford had most of the possession in the opening 20 minutes but didn’t test David de Gea.  They found space down the right wing more than anything and didn’t pose a threat down the middle where Nemanja Matic was playing guard.  The Serbian went off with what appeared to be a groin injury only nine minutes into the second half.

Ashley Young 9

Jesse Lingard’s pass appeared to be too slow in getting to Ashley Young on a counter attack but with his second touch the former-Watford man smashed the ball low past Gomes into the bottom corner.  Six minutes later and Young curled home an excellent free kick past the Brazilian in the top corner.  The left midfielder in a 3-4-1-2 formation didn’t hold back from celebrating either.  At 0-0 Will Hughes did find space down the right for Watford but nothing came of it.

Jesse Lingard 8

Nice performance in a central attacking midfield role which included the assist for the opening goal.  Jesse Lingard created a couple more chances for teammates before scoring a supreme solo goal started with a run from his own half to make it 4-2 in the final five minutes.

Anthony Martial 7

Coolly rolled the ball under Gomes to make it 3-0 with our third shot on target inside the opening 32 minutes.  Brought the ball forward for some counter attacks before being replaced by Marcus Rashford just after the hour mark.

Romelu Lukaku 7

Will be disappointed not to get among the goalscorers but did set up the third goal for Anthony Martial.  Had an opportunity to shoot early in the first half but decided to try pick out Jesse Lingard at the backpost but couldn’t find his teammate.  Showed a lack of confidence again by not hitting Rashford’s setup early in the final 15 minutes and eventually saw his effort blocked.

Substitutes

Ander Herrera (38 mins) 5 – Didn’t see very much of the ball but Watford didn’t offer much threat down the middle.

Marcus Rashford (27 mins) 5 – The youngster won the ball in Watford’s third to setup a good chance for Romelu Lukaku but otherwise didn’t see much of the ball.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (4 mins) N/A – Got another late run out but no time to make an impact.

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