- Red Devils score in 35′, 38′
- Gray pulls one back
- Watford loses first of season
- Matic sent off late
Romelu Lukaku and Manchester United handed Watford its first blemish of the season, beating the Hornets 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Chris Smalling scored a beautiful goal for United to join Lukaku on the score sheet. Nemanja Matic was shown a second yellow card in the third minute of stoppage time.
The Red Devils improve to 3W-2L and join both Arsenal and Tottenham on nine points.
Watford’s 12 points are good for fourth, two above Bournemouth.
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It was very much United’s game from the opening kick, with Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku especially lively in the first five minutes.
Good movement from United allowed Paul Pogba to cut back and hit a left-footed shot from atop the 18, but Ben Foster stooped to collect the ball. At the other end, Will Hughes forced David De Gea into a similar save.
De Gea then made an outstanding save against the run of play when Marouane Fellaini gave the ball away inside the 18 and Troy Deeney laced an effort top corner.
Alexis Sanchez had the ball in the goal but was whistled for offside in the 24th. And he zipped past Christian Kabasele to cut a shot on goal that Foster palmed over the bar.
Lukaku gave United a deserved lead in the 35th minute, using his belly to turn a cross inside the goal.
Center back Smalling made it 2-0 when he chest trapped Fellaini’s header before swiveling to volley a striker’s goal past Foster. The Watford goalkeeper would stop Paul Pogba on the doorstep in stoppage time to limit the deficit to two heading into halftime.
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20 – Romelu Lukaku has scored 20 goals in 39 Premier League apps for Man Utd; only three players have reached 20 PL goals for the Red Devils in fewer games than the Belgian – Ruud van Nistelrooy (26 games), Robin Van Persie (32) and Dwight Yorke (34). Potent. #WATMUN pic.twitter.com/uu3PIbmeeT
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 15, 2018
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Watford created a goal in the 65th minute with Gray granted plenty of space to hit a cutback cross from Abdoulaye Doucoure past De Gea.
It could’ve been 3-0 had Antonio Valencia sprung Romelu Lukaku on a 2v1, but the Ecuadorian’s later pass led Lukaku to touch the ball to Alexis Sanchez and the Chilean couldn’t manufacture a shot.
That’s when Matic saw his second yellow for breaking up a late rush, but De Gea made a flying save to deprive Kabasele of an equalizer. The ensuing corner kick led to nothing, and the final whistle blew in favor of the visitors.