Manchester United 2-0 Watford: Player ratings as Red Devils comfortably beat Hornets

Manchester United 2-0 Watford: Player ratings as Red Devils comfortably beat Hornets

Jose Mourinho's men looked in control from the first whistle to the last as Juan Mata and Anthony Martial made it a good day at the office for United.

ninad-barbadikar
Ninad Barbadikar

Manchester United comfortably extended their unbeaten run with a 2-0 win over Walter Mazzarri'Watford who had beaten them in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

The victory came courtesy of goals from Juan Mata in the first half on the half hour mark and the second from Anthony Martial to seal the game on the hour mark to make it an excellent outing at home for the Red Devils as Jose Mourinho's men played some beautiful football and deservedly took all three points. 

United dominated the match throughout with chances being created time and again, the game should've been done and dusted early on in the first half, but for the wastefulness of the United attackers in scoring the goals. The pressure paid off eventually with two extremely well-worked goals for United as they keep the pressure on their rivals for the top four positions.

Let's take a look at the player ratings for the game and see how the Red Devils beat their opponents.

Bailly delivers Masterclass in defence

David De Gea (9/10) Excellent on the rare moments that he was called upon to thwart Watford's efforts. One excellent free kick from Mauro Zarate and a Troy Deeney effort was all that he had to save as he chalked up another vital clean sheet.

Antonio Valencia (9/10) Solid as ever in this one as he has been all season long for United, getting up and down the right flank, hurting the opposition defences. However, his defensive efforts in this game were impressive as he effectively denied Watford any width on his side of the pitch and displayed his excellent characteristic determination in winning the ball back.

Chris Smalling (9/10) Led the team out once again as captain and looks like his old self again after putting another calm yet commanding performance at the back for the Red Devils. His physical battle against the likes of Deeney and Etienne Capoue were well worth watching as he kept the Watford attackers at bay with good work alongside Eric Bailly.

Eric Bailly (9.5/10) Bailly's return to first team action has been very smooth as he put in a faultless performance in defence for United. The Ivorian's tackling and ability to read the game almost belies his young age as he dealt with the Watford attackers with ease and also was able to carry the ball from out the back and distribute it to the likes of Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Another brilliant outing for Bailly as he steadily cements his place in Mourinho's starting XI.

Daley Blind (9/10) Preferred to start over the returning Luke Shaw as Mourinho opted for the Dutchman to start the game as Shaw awaits his return to Premier League action for the side. Blind was caught only on one occasion by the pacy M'Baye Niang towards the end of the game. Barring that, Blind put in a calm and collected performance at left-back as he provided support in the final third but also tracked back intelligently to perform his defensive duties well.

The Frenchmen get it done for the Red Devils

Ander Herrera (9/10) Started the game alongside Paul Pogba in a 4-2-3-1 system and delivered what was expected of him once again as he provided excellent defensive cover and also got into attacking moves on occasion. Herrera's distribution of the ball was efficient as well, as he took care of defensive duties primarily which allowed Pogba to do well.

Paul Pogba (9/10) The decision to deploy a two-man midfield system by Mourinho resulted in a few mixed reactions as fans were unsure as to whether Pogba would be comfortable in playing that role. However, the Frenchman showed during the game that he is more than capable of living up to the expectations of him on the pitch as he orchestrated much of United's attacking play and also dominated the midfield with his defensive actions. Pogba's strength on the ball and also his ball distribution abilities shone in this game.

Juan Mata (9/10) Deployed on the right of a 4-2-3-1 system where he is usually the one drifting into more central areas, which is exactly what he did to link up with his fellow attackers including the likes of Anthony Martial and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Mata got United's opener after some delightful link-up play which involved all of the attackers and a simple finish from the Spaniard gave his side some breathing space early on in the game. He was taken off for Marouane Fellaini in the 72nd minute. 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (9/10) Another classy outing from the Armenian as he was at the centre of much of United's positive attacking play and also initialised many of the chances that his side managed to create. His link-up play with Mata was a particular delight as both players found spaces to exploit and were clever in the way they passed the ball around.

Anthony Martial (9.5/10) Martial's return to first-team action in the Premier League was a productive one, to say the least. The Frenchman hasn't featured in the Premier League for over a month after reports suggesting that he was unsettled at the club, however, Martial's performance showed that he is committed to the club and its aims. The way he took the second goal was excellent, waiting for the right moment to exploit Watford's defence twice, one time when he scored his goal and the second when he provided the assist for Mata's goal. Martial's performance will certainly give Mourinho the confidence to choose him more often as he aims to utilise the depth of the squad as much as he can.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (8/10) Ibrahimovic recently reached the twenty goal mark for United and was expected to add to that tally before the game against Watford, however, he was wasteful with his chances in front of goal as his part in both the goals scored was vital. The Swede himself struggled in front of goal missing precious chances to finish the game early on.

The substitutes

Marouane Fellaini (7/10) Brought on once again by Mourinho fro Mata, as he did what was asked of him well enough and also got forward in attack on occasion to link up with Mkhitaryan. Fellaini used height to dominate the air as well.

Marcus Rashford (8/10) Came off the bench in the place of the excellent Martial. Rashford didn't wase any time in testing Gomes as he used his frightening pace to test the Watford defence late on.

Jesse Lingard (7/10) Had little to do when he came on very late in the game.

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