Manchester United defeated Watford 1-2 in a game that showed why the English Premier League is the most competitive and entertaining league in the World. The second half especially was a delight for fans and neutrals alike. After Mourinho’s men took the lead from two quick successive goals in the first half, Watford persevered to come back in the game, even forcing David De Gea to make one of his world class saves at the end to ensure United went back to Manchester with the 3 points.
Watford came into the game higher in the standings than their more illustrious opponent, having won their first four games of the season, while ManUtd had lost to Brighton and Spurs. United dominated the proceedings in the first half and could have been more than 2-0 up by half time. Watford did get their chances but De Gea was in top form. He produced a fantastic save from a close Deeney shot in the 15th minute. That could easily have changed the game in favor of the home team.
United’s many missed chances kept Watford in the game and eventually Javi Gracia’s team came back via a brilliantly taken Andre Gray goal. De Gea had a magnificent game and did not deserve to concede that goal. After that, Watford kept on pushing a more and more defensive United. The last minute brought the pinnacle of the drama as Nemanja Matic was sent off for a foul and on the ensuing cross, De Gea pulled one of the great saves we are now used to seeing from him to deny Watford an equalizer.
From United’s side, Paul Pogba was another player whom we can single out for praise. Often maligned for his displays of showmanship, the World Cup winner was all over the place, profiting from the defensive shift of Matic and Fellaini, spreading beautiful passes and taking dangerous shots at United academy product Ben Foster. The Frenchman could have scored a hatrick if it were not for Foster. Fellaini also had another very good performance, intercepting attacks when needed and also using his physicality to trouble Watford defenders on set pieces. He was involved in both goals. Chris Smalling scored a goal which even Zlatan Ibrahimovic would have been proud of and did his reputation no harm either with his defensive display alongside Lindelof.
The Man of the Match however has to be Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea, whose saves decided the fate of the game. Kabasele was the star performer from Watford’s side.
This game proved that the EPL is the most competitive league in the World. Watford, a team whose first eleven cost less than the United bench, fought with grit and passion to give a Premier League giant a run for their money. There are now no guaranteed wins for the Premier League’s elite.
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