Man United 2-0 Watford: Red Devils rampant

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  • Mata, Martial grab goals
  • United go 16 games unbeaten
  • Red Devils up to fifth place

Manchester United beat Watford 2-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday as Jose Mourinho’s men ripped the Hornets apart.

Goals in each half from Juan Mata and Anthony Martial did the damage as United are now 16 games unbeaten in the Premier League and they momentarily moved up to fifth place in the table.

With the win United have 48 points, while Watford stay on 30 points.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a decent chance early on as Antonio Valencia‘s cross from the right took a deflection but the Swedish striker couldn’t sort his feet out to get his effort on target.

Martial then had a great chance as he cut in from the flank but his shot took a deflection and went wide as United cranked up the heat. Jose Holebas whistled a shot just wide for Watford and at the other end Paul Pogba forced Heurelho Gomes to make a fine diving save to his right.

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Gomes denied Pogba with a good save after Valencia’s cross, then he saved from Ander Herrera. And the chances kept coming for United before the break when Henrikh Mkhitaryan got it all wrong and blazed over, then Ibrahimovic was denied by Gomes but soon after United were ahead.

A lovely flowing moving saw Mkhitaryan play in Martial and his cross missed Ibrahimovic but Mata was on hand to sweep home. 1-0 to United.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Martial sent an effort just wide of the far post seconds after half time as United started brightly and pushed to go further head.

Mauro Zarate forced David De Gea into a fine save from a free kick as the Hornets went close to equalizing but then United put the game to bed.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Martial was set free down the left after an incisive move involving Pogba, Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic and the French winger cut inside before slamming home at the near post. 2-0 to United. Game over.

Watford did fight back as M’Baye Niang cut in down the right and crossed into the box but Etienne Capoue couldn’t time his run and then Niang again whipped in a dangerous cross but Darryl Janmaat hammered over as the Hornets tried to grab a goal.

Ibrahimovic missed a chance late on from Mkhitaryan’s cross as United couldn’t add any extra gloss to the scoreline but kept their incredible unbeaten run going.

Mourinho will be a happy man.

Former Czech Republic defender Rajtoral kills himself

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PRAGUE (AP) Former Czech Republic defender Frantisek Rajtoral, who won the domestic league title four times before joining Turkish club Gaziantepspor, died on Sunday. He was 31.

[ MORE: Bayern scouted Kyle Walker, Alex Sanchez this weekend ]

The Czech football federation said in a statement that Rajtoral had “committed suicide in Turkey.”

His agent Pavel Zika confirmed the player’s death, describing it as a “huge tragedy.”

Gaziantepspor announced Rajtoral’s death in a brief statement on its website.

Rajtoral played 14 international matches for the Czech Republic.

In the top Czech league, he won four titles with Viktoria Plzen and played in the group stage of the Champions League twice for the club. He moved to Hannover in the Bundesliga in 2014 for half of the season, on loan.

He left Viktoria Plzen last year to move to Turkey.

Bellerin wants to represent Spain U21s despite Wenger’s wishes

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Arsene Wenger has made it clear about Hector Bellerin representing Spain this summer but the Arsenal defender is prepared to go against his manager’s wishes if he is selected.

[ MORE: Bayern scouted Kyle Walker, Alexis Sanchez over the weekend ]

The 22-year-old has said he hopes to play for Spain’s Under-21 side this summer during the 2017 European U-21 Championship but Wenger has been weary of Bellerin’s injury status and wants his fullback to maintain a clean bill of health throughout the offseason.

“I really want to play,” Bellerin told IBTimes. “Representing Spain is very important. If [Albert] Celades gives me the chance I’ll be there.

“Those are opinions of the managers. I have to keep working. The truth is that I had a difficult injury but I think that I am at 100% now and I’ll try to prove it when I get the chance.”

Bellerin signed a six-and-a-half year deal with the Gunners in November, where he has resided since coming up in the club’s academy. He has made 102 appearances for Wenger’s team in that span over all competitions.

Roma boosts bid for 2nd in Serie A by beating Pescara 4-1

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PESCARA, Italy (AP) Roma boosted its bid for second place in Serie A and automatic entry into the Champions League with a 4-1 win at Pescara, which was mathematically relegated on Monday.

[ MORE: Newcastle joins Brighton in promotion to Premier League ]

Roma moved four points clear of third-placed Napoli, which drew against Sassuolo 2-2 on Sunday. Third place in Serie A receives a Champions League playoff.

Pescara remained 15 points behind Empoli. There are only five matches left and Empoli has the better head-to-head record, which is the deciding factor if two teams finish level on points.

There were 48 goals in total in the 33rd round, matching the record set in October 1992.

Roma took control shortly before halftime, with Kevin Strootman breaking the deadlock after Stephan El Shaarawy unselfishly rolled the ball across the area.

Radja Nainggolan, who earlier hit the bar, doubled Roma’s lead two minutes later.

Mohamed Salah extended Roma’s advantage three minutes after the break and the winger doubled his tally on the hour following a swift counterattack.

Ahmad Benali got a consolation for Pescara and a Cristiano Biraghi free kick also hit the post for the home side.

Frank Yallop resigns as Phoenix Rising coach shortly after Drogba arrival

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The timing is a bit sudden and certainly leaves many questions up in the air, but Phoenix Rising will have to look for a new manager.

[ MORE: Chicharito talks heating up with LA FC ]

On Monday, head coach Frank Yallop resigned from his position with the United Soccer League (USL) club less than one day after former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba joined the organization as a player-owner.

With Phoenix seen as one of several lower-level clubs with ambitions of making the leap to MLS over the coming seasons, Yallop’s departure is surely a shock to many.

According to ESPN FC, Rising lead owner Berke Bakay was quite surprised by Yallop’s decision to step down, as was Drogba.

“Didier was as surprised and disappointed as we were that Frank is unable to continue coaching our Club,” Bakay told ESPN FC. “But, we all respect his decision to put his family first.

“Didier’s focus will remain on improving our team as a player and assisting our MLS expansion team ownership group as a co-owner. Frank will be helping with our international search for a new head coach.”

Rick Schantz, the current Rising assistant coach, will head the team’s managerial duties for the interim while the club completes a full search for a new manager.