A brisk run of form continued for the Red Devils as they huffed past Watford with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made quite a statement after being named as the full-time manager of Manchester United. This win has pushed the Red Devils into the top four with Arsenal itching to steal the spot.
Although, the first 90 minutes saw nervy United faces as a determined Watford made United toil hard to secure a berth in the top four.
Managing in his first match as the permanent manager, Solskjaer employed a full strength 4-3-3 attack with Mata combining as a centre-forward with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 30, 2019
The midfield had the famed trio of Matic, Herrera and Pogba to make it a formidable team on paper. The problem in the recent past has been the loss of momentum due to frequent injuries to crucial players.
The midfield lacked lustre against the Wolves as the Reds were knocked out of the FA Cup. The onus once again was on the midfield to deliver and despite looking scratchy, they have a result in their favour.
Pogba as always looked like scoring with each opportunity that was thrown at him only to be stopped by some remarkable saves.
However, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford ensured that the scorers were kept busy as they scored one each to give United a crucial 2-0 lead only to be hampered at the 90th minute.
The goal by Marcus Rashford at the 28th minute was a counter-attacking masterpiece as the Left-back Luke Shaw made no mistake in spotting Rashford on the run, who clipped the ball past the keeper following a precise first touch. All in all, an exquisite display of tactical football.
Jesse Lingard, being brought on for Mata at the 63rd minute made an impact straightaway as he assisted Anthony Martial with a low ball to double the lead for United.
The consolation goal for Watford came as late as the 90th minute and a draw was easier said than done.
Solskjaer was unerring in mentioning how the things panned out for his side:
“(In the) first 20 minutes, we started so slow and sloppy and you could see we’ve had players out with injury and the international break.”
“We’ve not been able to train them that much, so it’s one of those first games after an international break that you look forward to but know there might be a potential banana skin because Watford is a good side.”
“They didn’t have that many players away and I think they deserved to take the lead.”
“But after we scored, for the rest of the first half we played some great counter-attacking stuff (and) defended well.”
“We had to because they were dominant but Chris (Smalling) and Jonah ( Phil Jones ) especially were fantastic, (they) kept us in it.”
“In the second half we started sloppier but at 2-0 we were in control until they scored and then anything can happen, but three points is all you can get.”
When asked about the injury situation of Anthony Martial, he was quoted as saying
“Hopefully he can be available for Tuesday,”
“He got a bad knock. We’ll check him on Monday morning, probably.”
A scratchy win but, a momentum-less United will take it with both hands as they travel to Wolverhampton to face the Wolves in what could be a mouth-watering clash as the Devils might seek revenge for their knockout from the FA Cup.