On Saturday, beleaguered Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer racked up more misery as Watford sealed a well-deserved Premier League victory against a packed Vicarage Road.
In an electrifying first half, United couldn’t deal with the high pressure of a well-organized Hornets team and quickly found themselves in danger when Scott McTominay shoved forward Joshua King into the box.
But United goalkeeper David de Gea came to the rescue when the Spaniard saved not one, but two penalties from Ismaila Sarr. All of the Senegalese winger’s efforts were tame, but Kiko Femenia managed to convert the rebound from the first penalty shot, only to have the goal disallowed due to invasion by players from both teams.
However, it wasn’t long before Sarr rectified his penalty mistakes by sending a right-footed shot through De Gea’s goal to double Watford’s lead after King opened the scoring thanks to the assistance of Emmanuel. Dennis.
A second-half uprising saw the forgotten Donny van de Beek, who replaced McTominay, who received a yellow card, and put the ball into the net after Cristiano Ronaldo’s takedown following a search cross from England winger Jadon Sancho.
But the nightmare continued for Solskjaer as Harry Maguire was booked twice in seven minutes and sent off.
A ray of hope seemed to have come in the 77th minute after the spirited Van de Beek found Ronaldo with a deep pass, but the Portugal captain’s goal was disallowed for offside.
In the closing moments of the game, to the delight of the rowdy Watford crowd, Joao Pedro and Dennis added a third and a fourth for Watford to rack up further heartache for traveling United supporters.
The defeat means United have slipped down the table to eighth place with 17 points, while Claudio Ranieri’s team is just four points behind them at 15th place.
More to follow.
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Sort rank key = Give up = Pure perfection
- 13NkoulouReplaced forTroost-Ekongto 64 ‘minutes
- 23SarrReplaced forHernandez Suarezto 68 ‘minutes
- 6LouzaReserved at 45 minutesReplaced forJoão Pedroto 77 ‘minutes
- 25DennisReserved at 90 minutes
- 10João Pedro
- 18Your fan
- 29Hernandez Suarez
- 1From Gea
- 5MaguireBooked in 69mins
- 23ShawReplaced forDalotto 85 ‘minutes
- 39McTominayReserved at 19 minutesReplaced forvan de Beekto Four. Five ‘minutes
- 25SanchoReplaced forLingardto 90 + 1 ‘minutes
- 18Bruno fernandes
- 10RashfordReplaced forMartialto Four. Five ‘minutes
- 7Cristiano Ronaldo
- 22Heat on
- 3. 4van de Beek
End of the match, Watford 4, Manchester United 1.
Second Half Final, Watford 4, Manchester United 1.
Emmanuel Dennis (Watford) has been shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.
Objective! Watford 4, Manchester United 1. Emmanuel Dennis (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box below the left post. Assisted by Ben Foster.
Objective! Watford 3, Manchester United 1. João Pedro (Watford) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the right side of the goal. Assisted by Emmanuel Dennis.
Shot stopped high and through the center of the goal. João Pedro (Watford) right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Cucho Hernández with a cross.
Change, Manchester United. Jesse Lingard replaces Jadon Sancho.
Failed attempt. João Pedro (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Cucho Hernández.
Corner, Watford. Corner committed by Diogo Dalot.
Failed attempt. It was not a good shot, it goes high and to the left. João Pedro (Watford) header from close range misses to the right. Assisted by Cucho Hernández with a cross into the area after a corner kick.
Change, Manchester United. Diogo Dalot replaces Luke Shaw due to injury.
Corner, Watford. Corner committed by Luke Shaw.
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Failed attempt. It goes too high. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Offside, Manchester United. Donny van de Beek tried a through ball but Cristiano Ronaldo was caught offside.
Change, Watford. João Pedro replaces Imran Louza.
Failed attempt. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) header from the center of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jadon Sancho with a cross.
Luke Shaw (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tom Cleverley (Watford).
Failed attempt. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Donny van de Beek.