Watford vs Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Red Devils fell to a new low as they were massively outplayed and beaten 4-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
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Joshua King and Ismaila Sarr staked Watford to a 2-0 halftime lead, and though Manchester United started the second half quickly and pulled themselves back to 2-1, Harry Maguire was sent off in the 69th minute, effectively ending the comeback charge. Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis added the insurance during second-half stoppage time.
The result sees Manchester United fall to 7th in the Premier League table. Solskjaer and Co., have won just one of their last seven Premier League fixtures (1W-1D-5L). Watford, meanwhile, have their fourth win of the season and are up to 15th.
Watford vs Manchester United final score final score, stats, results
Final score: Watford 4, Manchester United 1
Goal scorers: Watford (King 28′, Sarr 44′, Pedro 90’+1, Dennis 90’+5), Manchester United (Van de Beek 50′)
Shots: Watford 20, Manchester United 9
Shots on target: Watford 7, Manchester United 3
Possession: Watford 39%, Manchester United 61%
3 things we learned – Watford vs Manchester United
1. Watford title contenders, Man United relegation battlers: If you didn’t already know Manchester United were the richer club with a squad full of international superstars, you might have thought, based on the evidence of the first 45 minutes against Watford, that the Red Devils were the relegation-threatened side while the Hornets are the ones chasing the Premier League title. There wasn’t a single thing they did well in the first half.
— Andy Edwards (@AndyEdMLS) November 20, 2021
2. Pieces don’t fit for Man United: We knew that Manchester United’s squad was poorly constructed coming into the season (we knew this because they are Manchester United), but Saturday’s first half only shone a bright light on the failures of the club in recent transfer windows. With the midfield crying out for anyone who could either win the ball or pass it to a teammate (you can forget about someone doing both), Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic were capable of doing neither. With the forward line starved for service, Bruno Fernandes was busy making a center forward’s runs in behind because Cristiano Ronaldo had drifted out to the left wing where he was standing on Marcus Rashford’s laces and clogging up the space where Luke Shaw should be overlapping. For those keeping score at home, that’s one blackhole deep in midfield and another one the size of the attacking half of the field. The above isn’t solely the fault of Solskjaer, as we’ve known for year that Man United’s institutional issues are gravely serious.
3. Ole Watch (un)officially underway: Sure, every Manchester United manager since Sir Alex Ferguson has been on the hot seat since the day they started, but this feels like the logical end of Solskjaer’s illogical time at the helm. They could have come back to win 5-2 after halftime, and even that couldn’t erase memories of the poor effort and lack of any plan on display during the first half. Maybe the next manager will arrive with a detailed plan and ideas to re-mold and rebuild this wayward football club.
Man of the Match: Joshua King – The former Manchester United man scored the opening goal and was a constant threat on the counter-attack. Against un-athletic defenses like United, the King-Sarr-Dennis trio will be highly effective.
Watford vs Manchester United final score, highlights
David de Gea saves two penalty kicks from Ismaila Sarr (video)
Scott McTominay gave away a penalty kick as clumsily as anyone has ever done, but David de Gea had his back with a pair of saves against Ismaila Sarr. The first rebound was put home, but ruled out for encroachment into the penalty area, and De Gea did it again on the second.
Joshua King puts Watford ahead of Manchester United (goal video)
There’s no other way to say it: Watford were miles better than Manchester United in the opening half-hour, and they finally got the goal they deserved. The game felt more like 3-0 than 1-0 at this point.
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Ismaila Sarr makes it 2-0 with goal before halftime (video)
Manchester United were desperate to get to halftime down only 1-0, but they couldn’t hold for the final four minutes as Sarr continued to cause problems. He finally found the back of the net in the 44th minute.
Donny van de Beek heads Manchester United back to life (goal video)
Jadon Sancho’s cross was too far for Ronaldo to head the ball on frame himself, but he spotted Van de Beek criminally unmarked in front of goal. Narrowly onside, it was the easiest goal the Dutchman will ever score.
Joao Pedro makes it a two-goal game again (video)
If you’re not yet familiar with the exploits of Joao Pedro (most won’t be after he played in just three Premier League games two years ago), you will be soon.
Emmanuel Dennis piles more misery on Manchester United (goal video)
It was this easy for Watford on the counter-attack all game long.