Manchester United vs Watford: Final-third woes wreck Red Devils


Manchester United vs Watford: The Red Devils couldn’t find their way through the Hornets’ defense as they settled for a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on Saturday.

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The draw is particularly disappointing for Manchester United, given Arsenal’s sudden uptick in form as the Gunners close in on 4th place. The gap between Man United and Arsenal is now just two points, with the Gunners having played three games fewer at this point.

Manchester United vs Watford final score, stats, results

Final score: Manchester United 0, Watford 0

Goal scorers: Manchester United (None), Watford (None)

Shots: Manchester United 22, Watford 10

Shots on target: Manchester United 3, Watford 2

Possession: Manchester United 67%, Watford 33%

3 things we learned – Manchester United vs Watford

1. Man United creating from crosses, nothing else: Here’s the thing about Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments regarding his desire to play alongside a second striker: Given 1) his age and waning mobility, and 2) the way Manchester United only appear capable of entering the final third on either wing, he’s 100 percent correct in his assessment. Ronaldo has been a supreme aerial threat for more than a decade, but he’s 37 years old and playing in the most physical league in the world for the first time since 2009. It’s not that he can’t still get to every ball, but he can no longer do it every time down the field, which means far too many crosses are either hopeless as soon as they’re played or bound for Bruno Fernandes. The Red Devils crossed the ball 32 times on Saturday. Marcus Rashford was the only striker on the bench, with Edinson Cavani injured and Mason Greenwood suspended indefinitely.

2. Ronaldo has best chances — one offside, one off the post: Ronaldo put the ball in the back of the net and off the front of the post once each inside the opening quarter-hour, but had nothing to show for it with the former ruled out for offside just before he got on the end of Fernandes’ cross. 

3. Still some fight left in Watford: The Hornets refuse to go quietly in the night, back to the EFL Championship, after just one season in the Premier League. They remain 19th in the table despite the draw, but they gained a point on Brentford and Leeds, both of whom were beaten on Saturday as they continue to drop down the ladder like a stone.