- Memphis grabs opener
- United went 632 minutes without conceding
- Deeney scores late PK
- Schweinsteiger puts United back ahead
Manchester United beat Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday as a last-gasp winner grabbed all three points for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.
Memphis had volleyed them ahead early on but Troy Deeney‘s late penalty looked to have rescued Watford a point. However, the Hornets skipper turned from hero to villain in a matter of seconds as he put Bastian Schweinstieger’s effort into his own net in stoppage to hand an injury-hit United all three points.
With the win United momentarily go top of the Premier League on 27 points as Arsenal and Man City play later on in Week 13. As for Watford, they stay in 11th on 16 points.
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United started brightly, causing Watford’s defense plenty of problems and in the 11th minute the Red Devils deservedly took the lead. Former Watford star Ashley Young got forward from right back and laid the ball to Ander Herrera who whipped in a marvelous cross which found Memphis in the box and the Dutchman volleyed home his second PL goal for United. 1-0 as the man who was only in the starting due to injuries to both Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial grabbed his chance.
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After that opening blitz from United, Watford struggled to get back in the game as Deeney and Odion Ighalo tried to link up. Midway through the first half Herrera was forced off with what looked like a hamstring injury and van Gaal had to switch to a 3-5-2 formation with Marcos Rojo slotting into a three-man central defense then Young and Daley Blind at wing back. Before half time Morgan Schneiderlin hammered a volley just over the bar and Memphis forced Heurelho Gomes into a smart save down low with United were well on top and worthy of their lead.
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In the second half United continued to look the more likely to score but as the hour mark arrived a big chance came for Watford as substitute Nathan Ake flew down the left wing and his cross found Deeney in the box. The powerful forward drilled an effort towards goal but it was straight down the middle and David De Gea beat it away. Watford were buoyed by that effort as Ighalo’s shot from a corner was well-blocked by Schneiderlin.
Late on United looked dangerous on the break with Memphis flashing a shot just wide of the far post but de Gea was forced into action as he saved superbly from Almen Abdi‘s shot down low. Jesse Lingard had a glorious chance to wrap up the three points but couldn’t lob Gomes, and that almost came back to haunt United.
In the 86th minute Deeney flicked the ball onto Ighalo and as the Nigerian striker tried to turn Rojo he was brought down and Bobby Madley pointed to the spot. Deeney stepped up and blasted it home which looked to have grabbed a point for the Hornets in front of their jubilant fans. However, Lingard’s shot in stoppage time was parried towards Schweinsteiger and from an acute angle he knocked the ball back towards goal which Deeney then inadvertently directed into his own net. 2-1 to the Red Devils as United grabbed a crucial three points and momentarily moved to the top of the Premier League table.