Watford 2-4 Manchester United: Player ratings

by Leo Nieboer

David de Gea 6 – Had virtually nothing to do until being sent the wrong way by Troy Deeney’s penalty. Couldn’t do much about Abdoulaye Doucore’s close range finish.

Antonio Valencia 7 – Kept tabs on the lively Will Hughes early on and prevented Watford from making any inroads down his side. Disciplined, strong, rapid across the ground. A captain’s display.

Victor Lindelof 7.5 – The Swede’s rise to prominence continues. Looked to genuinely relish – rather than shirk – being on the ball and produced a number of perfectly timed blocks and tackles. His best performance in a Manchester United shirt by some distance.

Chris Smalling 6 – Took some time to adapt to the pace of the game but enjoyed a relatively trouble free evening at the base of Man United’s back three after the visitors took control.

Marcos Rojo 6.5 – A strong return to Premier League action for the Argentine. Kept Andre Grey at bay all evening and made two decisive interventions late on, but lost his composure to give away a needless penalty.

Ashley Young 8 – Faultless on the ball, effervescent going forward, and simply stunning in front of goal, firing a superb strike from outside the box past Heurelho Gomes’s near post before launching an even better kick into the top corner minutes later.

Nemanja Matic 6 – Looked all at sea for the first ten minutes but recovered to grab control of midfield proceedings, only to come off with a knock soon after half time.

Paul Pogba 7 – Breezily dictated play, winning the ball off opponents and spreading the ball all across the pitch. There aren’t many better players to watch in possession.

Jesse Lingard 7.5 – Took up some excellent positions at No.10, popping up unexpectedly to steal possession and set players away. Provided a smart assist for Young’s first goal and then shocked everyone with a sublime individual effort to kill the game after 86 minutes.

Anthony Martial 7 – Another slick, deadly display from the Frenchman. None of Watford’s back three could cope with him and his finish to put United three up was superb.

Romelu Lukaku 6 – Linked up with Martial and Lingard nicely in the first half, but make no mistake: the Belgian is going through a dry patch in front of goal. Missed a golden opportunity in the second half.

Substitutes 

Ander Herrera 

Marcus Rashford

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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