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Live Comment: Manchester United 2-1 Watford – as it happened

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole 's live commentary on the Premier League crash between Manchester United and Watford from Old Trafford. United will seek to return to winning ways this afternoon, losing their last two against Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers in Premier League and FA Cup respectively. Meanwhile, Watford has lost two of their last three in the league, but a strong campaign so far has left them in eighth position in the table.


UNITED: De Gea; Young, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Mata, Rashford, Martial

WATFORD: Foster; Janmaat, Kabasele, Britos, Masina; Hughes, Doucoure, Capoue, Pereyra; Deeney, Deulofeu

United's team shows four changes from the one who started the defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers before the international break. Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Juan Mata and David de Gea all come with Sergio Romero, Jesse Lingard, Victor Lindelof and Diogo Dalot. Romelu Lukaku makes the bench, as Andreas Pereira and Fred.

As for Watford, Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu will start as the front two, while a strong midfield includes Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra. However, Craig Cathcart is only on the bench against his former club, while Isaac Success and Andre Gray are also in reserve for the visitors.

United kicker things from here …

… bright start from United as Mata goes into a wide position before he crosses Rashford, but there are no takers, and Watford continues possession here.

A victory for United this afternoon would see them move into fourth position when Chelsea didn't play before tomorrow, while Arsenal host Newcastle United on Monday night. Not an awful lot to report in these early moments, even though Pogba has just wasted a good chance.

CLOSE! Decent chance for Watford as Doucoure exists within the United box, but his bet is wide.

shot! Deeney shoots from a distance, but his attempt always runs across.

Half chance for United this time, but Smalling heads a corner wide of the post.

SAVE! The Gea must scratch a header from Deeney as Watford continues to threaten! The powerful striker causes problems with his strength inside the home team penalty kick.

Some concerns over De Gea here, as the plug remains down after saving it from Deeney, but he will be able to continue. Watford is at the top of the moment.

A little possession for United in the last few minutes, but they struggle to get something started. Mata has moved into a central position and seems to find room in the left channel, but Watford looks very compact, as they continue to handle home ground here.

Young has just missed everyone with a cross and it sums up United's

YELLOW CARD! Hughes (Watford) is convicted of a poor tackle on Pogba.

Much better from United as Shaw breaks into the Watford box before they seem to choose Rashford with a low cross, but Britos is ready to make the clearance. Good work there.

SAVE! Excellent rescue from De Gea to keep a strong strike from Pereyra!

Deeney breaks again in a dangerous position before delivering a cross, but Jones is ready to go behind a corner that comes to nothing.

Hardware! Decent fear from De Gea to hold a strike from Deulofeu this time.

PENALTY APPEAL! Criminal war for United as Martial goes into the box during a challenge from Britos, but the referee is not interested. Better from home page, though.


Breakthrough! United takes the lead in the 28th minute when Rashford collects a brilliant through ball from Shaw before lifting his attempt past the disturbing Foster. Super Finish!

Watford may feel unlucky to be behind, but it was an excellent pass from Shaw and a brilliant finish from Rashford. Can the tissue side react before the interval here?

SAVE! Fantastic rescue from Foster to hold a strike from Martial after Watford has not cleared a corner. A second for United at this stage of the competition would be very hard on the far side.

Deulofeu seems to have a problem for Watford after clashes with Jones – United center-back looked to fall on the Spaniard who beat his back and doesn't look so good.

Deulofeu is able to continue and Watford is back on the attack here.

Not an awful lot of clear chances for visitors since they are behind, but United needs De Gea to make some great savings to keep the score sustainable in the early stages.

Deeney has another strike blocked by Jones as Watford stays at the front. The website has a lot of possession while United plays on counter attack. Rashford has just broken a review, but Foster did well to force the Englishman out.

Deeney wins another free kick to his team after fighting with Smalling. There is a very interesting battle between Watford's captain and Smalling and Jones.

Smarting from Smalling as United defends leader under the pressure of Britos as Watford seems to force a leveler in the final stages of the first period here.

We go into the first of three extra minutes at the end of the first period.

Mata fails to find Martial after settling in the Watford box.


So there we have. The judge brings the first period to an end with United's leading Watford 1-0 with Marcus Rashford's super-finals. Watford actually had a number of chances to score before the breakthrough arrived, but found David de Gea in good shape.

STATS! United shaded the first half possession by 56% while they managed five attempts, two of which were on target. Watford actually had eight attempts in the first 45 minutes, with three of them on target. Just one booking – Will Hughes in the 17th minute.

BENCH WATCH! There is no doubt that Watford boss Gracia has attacked quality on his bench this afternoon, such as. Kiko, Gray, Quina and Success all available. Meanwhile, United has opportunities in the form of Lingard, Lukaku, Fred, Pereira and Dalot.

KICKOFF: Watford resumes action here …

… no changes from every page in pause, which is not very surprising. I suppose, however, that both leaders will have changes in mind as the second period develops here.

SAVE! De Gea is ready to hold a long-standing strike from Deulofeu.

Watford continues to look threatened here as another long ball is delivered against Deeney, but Smalling does enough to clear clearance. Nothing much from United.

Except for Rashford, United has not been good this afternoon. Martial and Mata have both had difficulty contributing, while Pogba has also been quiet. It would not be a surprise to see Lukaku in the next 20 minutes or so, especially if it is 1-0.

CLOSE! Janmaat misses the United goal with a strike from inside the box!

SAVE! De Gea has to push a low Pereyra bet around the post!

Watford remains the better side, but United still has the lead with the excellent finish from Rashford. Sunshades cannot be satisfied with what he sees right now.

WATFORD SUB! Kiko replaces Janmaat away.

CLOSE! Pogba loses possession inside his own half and Watford has another chance when the ball breaks for Hughes inside the United box, but his attempt goes right past the post.

Jones fends Deeney out of the ball inside the United box when the Watford captain threatens to meet with a drop ball. Just under 30 minutes of the second period here.

MAN UNITED SUBS! Lingard and Pereira replace Mata and Herrera.

A little over 25 minutes of the second period left, and United really have to raise the pace that Watford continues to enjoy plenty of ball and actually create opportunities.

Kiko breaks into a broad position before he makes a dangerous cross against the far post, but De Gea makes the claim before releasing Young. However, the attack breaks again.

It is Watford's attack against United's defense at the moment.

Deulofeu delivers a dangerous free kick in the United box, but Smalling does well to make the clearance. Surely the home team has to ease some of the pressure at some point?


United has their second! It's a lot against the game, but Martial has the ball on the back of the net. Foster initially refused the Frenchman up close, but Martial managed to get back on his feet before converting. It is very, very hard on the back!

WATFORD SUB! Gray replaces Deulofeu away.

Marcos Rojo is coming on United. Haven't seen him for a while!

MAN UNITED SUB! Rojo replaces Martial to home page.

How did Watford not score this afternoon? Well, De Gea has been a big reason. But the Hornets are wondering how they are 2-0 behind having dominated too long spells.

Shaw has been good to United this afternoon – probably the best in a red shirt. Again, the Englishman is in a broad position, but Hughes is back to the challenge.

shot! Comfortable scared from Foster to keep out Lingard's strike.

WATFORD SUB! Success replaces Hughes to

GOLD CARD! Masina (Watford) is reserved for a tug on Rashford's shirt.

Just over five minutes in the second period left at Old Trafford.

Not a terrible mass happens at the moment Watford passes the ball but without really threatening to score. United closes on a very important three points here.

Shaw is back on his feet for United after receiving some treatment.

GOAL! MAN UNITED 2-1 WATFORD (DOUCOURE) [19659070] Now! Watford has one back in the final stages, as Doucoure plays one-two on the edge of the United box before finding the network with a very smart finish.

We're in the second of three extra minutes, and time is running out of Watford.

Watford has a free kick outside the box when Lingard drops Doucoure …

… Pereira's effort is reflected in the box and United wins a free kick.


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