Man Utd hold on to beat Watford after Matic ‘ s late red card towards the end of game.
Manchester United have won just one of last four Premier League away games
Manchester United withstood a spirited second-half challenge from Watford to claim back-to-back victories and condemn the Hornets to their first defeat of the season.
United scored twice in three first-half minutes as Romelu Lukaku diverted
Ashley Young’s cross in via his chest before Chris Smalling fired home Marouane Fellaini’s knock-down.
Watford pulled a goal back midway through the second half through Andre Gray, but despite putting Jose
Mourinho’s side under heavy pressure for the final 20 minutes, they were unable to find an equaliser.
Nemanja Matic was sent off after a mistimed challenge on Will Hughes saw him pick up his second booking in the closing minutes, but United were able to hold on to claim their 15th victory over Watford in their past 16 meetings.
The result leaves Watford fourth, while United climb to eighth.
Pogba the heartbeat for United
The Hornets had the better of the opening 20 minutes, Troy Deeney forcing a superb save from David de Gea, but United grew in confidence immeasurably after their quick-fire double strike.
Lukaku’s fourth league goal of the season came in bizarre fashion as he turned home Young’s cross with his lower chest.
In contrast, Smalling showed the technique and poise of a seasoned striker to bring down Fellaini’s knock-down on his chest and volley into the roof of the net.
However, while Belgium midfielder Fellaini was involved in both goals, it was a Frenchman who was United’s heartbeat.
On his 100th appearance for the club, Paul Pogba played with real confidence – testing Foster twice from distance in the first half, before being brilliantly denied on the brink of half-time.
Alexis Sanchez also impressed and did have the ball in the net on 24 minutes, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside, but United were made to work for the win in the second half as Watford grew into the game.
Sanchez and second-half substitute Anthony Martial both had opportunities to make the result safe in late counter-attacks as Watford pressed for an equaliser, but fine interventions by Craig Cathcart and Christian Kabasele denied them.
However, United were not made to pay for those missed chances, as their backline stood firm to close out a hard-earned win and three points.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, speaking to NEWS MEN “Very important. With this win we keep the same points as Spurs and Arsenal. We have that distance of four and six points to the other top teams, if we don’t win this match obviously that distance goes a little more.
“They are a good team, they know how to create problems to the top teams. And I told the players at half-time – sometimes I am sorry we don’t have a camera in the dressing room because I told them what exactly happened – that it could be a match to win four or five nil, or to be in real trouble.
“In the second half we decreased our intensity, then the goal happened, then the game is open. I think this last Romelu Lukaku tackle as a right-back shows everything. I think he is the image of the team, a team that played very well in long periods in the first half. But we had the experience also here last season where they don’t give up and when the game is open they believe.”
2 Janmaat Femenía 72′
15 Cathcart Success 88′
25 Holebas Masina 84′
1 De Gea
25 A Valencia Bailly 90+2′
14 Lingard Martial 71′
7 Sánchez McTominay 84′
Ref: Mike Dean
[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]