Watford 2-4 Manchester United: Player ratings as Red Devils overcome late rally from Hornets

Former Watford man Ashley Young hit a brace that helped United close the gap to leaders Manchester City to five points, albeit temporarily

Watford 2-4 Manchester United: Player ratings as Red Devils overcome late rally from Hornets
Jesse Lingard scored one of the best goals of his career / Getty Images / Matthew Peters

Manchester United survived a late fightback to beat Watford 4-2 at Vicarage Road in the Premier League. 

Jose Mourinho's side rallied into a 3-0 lead before half-time, after Ashley Young's brace, including an incredible free-kick, was added to by yet another Anthony Martial strike.

However, after half-time, Marco Silva's side got back into the game, and after Marcos Rojo brought down Roberto Pereyra in the box, they were back in it.

Troy Deeney converted the penalty, with Abdoulaye Doucoure bringing the Hornets to within a single goal of the Red Devils.

However, Jesse Lingard's remarkable solo effort wrapped up all three points for England's most successful football team.

The defence

David de Gea - 6: Outside of the penalty, and the other Watford goal, the Spaniard was little more than an interested spectator at Vicarage Road. The penalty was so well placed that De Gea, even if he had gone the right way, would've struggled to save it, and the same could be said of the second goal as well.

Antonio Valencia - 7: The Ecuadorian was tasked with keeping the in-form Richarlison quiet, and he achieved this for the majority of the night. The Brazilian was unable to have his usual influence over the game and was a big factor in the Reds holding on to their slender lead late on.

Victor Lindelof - 8: After a very shaky start to his time in Manchester, the Swede's performances have begun to improve, and none have been better than the one he put in on Tuesday night. A confident and assured display from Lindelof is sure to stand him in good stead for more starts in the future.

Chris Smalling - 7: Another solid showing from Smalling will have undoubtedly helped the inexperienced Lindelof and returning Marcos Rojo to settle down into the game. He proved himself to be a reliable hand in the absence of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones.

Marcos Rojo - 6: For large parts of the game, Rojo looked as if he'd never been out of the team. However, old signs of rashness reared their head again as he was beaten rather easily by Roberto Pereyra, and then hacked him down again to concede the penalty that sparked the near-complete comeback.

Ashley Young - 9: Is there a player in the Premier League who has reinvented themselves quite like Ashley Young? His transition to a wing-back has been nothing short of phenomenal. A blazing finish from the edge of the box gave United a lead, and he doubled it minutes later with an inch-perfect free-kick finding the top corner.

 

The midfield

Nemanja Matic - 5: The Serbian had a pretty rare off day. Sloppiness on the ball and inaccurate passes were an obvious sign that Matic could do with a rest over the coming weeks.

Paul Pogba - 7: Since his return to the side, Pogba has been the heartbeat of the United side. Once again he was the catalyst from transforming defence into attack, and he makes United title challengers.

Jesse Lingard - 8: His movement was exceptional all night, but nothing could rival his sensational goal. An enterprising run from well inside his own half took him to the edge of the box, where he had sufficient composure to slot past Heurelho Gomes and end the Watford rally.

The attack

Anthony Martial - 7: A spectacular start to the season continued for the Frenchman, with yet another goal. A typically clinical finish gave United a commanding and ultimately unassailible lead.#

Romelu Lukaku - 7: It's evident that Lukaku's confidence is completely shot, and his goalscoring output is suffering. However, he put in a far more rounded performance on Tuesday. Powerful surging runs set up opportunities for himself and others. He fought well to provide the assist for Martial's goal.

The substitutes

Ander Herrera - 5: Coming on to replace the injured Matic, United failed to control the midfield in the same way once Herrera was on the pitch. He appears to be struggling to adapt to a more sporadic role in the first team.

Marcus Rashford - 6: The only ever-present in the United squad failed to make a big impact in the small amount of time he was on the pitch. His pressing of the back line created a sitter for Lukaku, which the shot shy striker couldn't convert.