Thursday, 24 March 2016

Reds in International Friendlies


Manchester United team-mates will go head to
head live on MUTV when Netherlands face France
on Friday, one of numerous fixtures in this current
international break to feature Reds stars.
Daley Blind and Memphis Depay are in the Dutch
squad for the friendly encounter in Amsterdam as
they build for the next World Cup qualifying
campaign after missing out on the 2016 European
Championships. Meanwhile Les Bleus, hosts of this
summer's major tournament, can count upon
Anthony Martial to provide plenty of excitement in
attack. The game will be shown exclusively live in
the UK on United's official television channel .

Netherlands' subsequent match will be against
England at Wembley on Tuesday 29 March. Injuries
to club colleagues including captain Wayne Rooney
have left Chris Smalling as the only United player
in Roy Hodgson's party for that game plus the
preceding one on Saturday, with Bastian
Schweinsteiger ruled out for Germany in Berlin with
a knee problem.

Schweinsteiger was also due to face a team-mate
on Tuesday 29 March, when the Germans meet
Italy, as Matteo Darmian is in the Azzurri's squad
for their schedule, which also includes a clash in
Spain this Thursday. David De Gea and Juan Mata
are both in the European champions' ranks with a
friendly against Romania also on the horizon.

Paddy McNair is set to represent Northern Ireland
against Wales on Thursday and Slovenia next
Monday, but Marouane Fellaini will no longer be in
action due to Belgium's friendly against Portugal
being cancelled in light of the tragic events that
occurred in Brussels on Monday (21 March).

Guillermo Varela has been handed his first call-up
to Uruguay's senior squad for their World Cup
qualifiers against Brazil and Peru. Sergio Romero
and Marcos Rojo are in Argentina's plans for the
games with Chile and Bolivia. A fourth Red in South
American action is Antonio Valencia with the fit-
again Ecuadorian returning to his country's squad
for the fixtures versus Paraguay and Colombia.

Thursday 24 March
Italy v Spain (Darmian; De Gea, Mata)
Wales v Northern Ireland (McNair)
Chile v Argentina (Romero, Rojo)
Ecuador v Paraguay (Valencia)

Friday 25 March
Netherlands v France (Blind, Memphis, Martial) –

Live on MUTV
Brazil v Uruguay (Varela)
Saturday 26 March
Germany v England (Smalling)
Sunday 27 March
Romania v Spain (De Gea, Mata)
Monday 28 March
Northern Ireland v Slovenia (McNair)

Tuesday 29 March
Germany v Italy (Darmian)
England v Netherlands (Smalling; Blind, Memphis)
France v Russia (Martial)
Argentina v Bolivia (Rojo, Romero)
Colombia v Ecuador (Valencia)
Uruguay v Peru (Varela)

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Manchester City vs Manchester Utd


Barclays Premier League | 20 March 2016 | Etihad
Stadium | Attendance: 54,557 | Scorers: Rashford

Manchester United closed the gap on rivals
Manchester City to just one point after a crucial
1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium, courtesy of
Marcus Rashford's excellent first-half strike.

The Manchester-born striker - making his first
appearance in this fixture - produced a moment to
savour on 16 minutes, showing an incredible turn of
pace to burst into the area and slot the ball past
Joe Hart. It was a mature piece of centre-forward
play, and one which was ultimately enough to
ensure the Reds left the Etihad with all three

Ahead of the game, Louis van Gaal opted to make
two changes to the side that faced Liverpool in
midweek, with Matteo Darmian and Morgan
Schneiderlin replacing Guillermo Varela and
Marouane Fellaini respectively in the starting line-
While October's reverse fixture produced a closely-
contested goalless draw, both sides showed more
intent from the off this time around, as City won a
corner in the opening minute. The game's first
chance fell for the hosts shortly after, as Darmian's
defensive header fell kindly for Jesus Navas, but
the winger's first-time volley dropped narrowly
Navas was regularly involved in the early stages
and went closer with his next effort, only to be
denied by fellow countryman David De Gea. Slick
passing between Raheem Sterling and David Silva
allowed the former to dig out a deep cross, but the
United keeper got down quickly to save with his

With little over a quarter of an hour played, though,
the Blues were made to pay for their missed
opportunities. Juan Mata found space in midfield
and picked out Rashford, who left Martin
Demichelis for dead on the edge of the box,
sprinting past the defender to calmly curl the ball

The Reds' youthful frontline was beginning to
impress, with Jesse Lingard proving a handful for
the much-changed Blues defence in the no.10 role.
And van Gaal's men might have added a second on
18 minutes, as Anthony Martial tested Hart with a
powerful drive.

The home side were quick to remind United of their
attacking intent at the other end, and should have
equalised when Silva's free-kick was headed wide
by Demichelis, but the Blues' goal threat suffered a
blow soon after when Sterling was forced off
through injury.

United might have been awarded a penalty just
before half-time, when Rashford appeared to be
brought down by Demichelis, but referee Michael
Oliver waved away any claims, and the Reds took
an important advantage into the break.

Possession: City 49% United 51%
Shots at goal: City 9 United 2
Shots on target: City 2 United 2
Corners: City 5 United 2

A first half full of incident was almost immediately
followed by a second United goal after the interval,
as Martial attempted to latch onto a short back-
pass from Demichelis, but Hart cleared the danger
just in time and suffered an injury in the process.

The goalkeeper's replacement, Willy Caballero,
might have been picking the ball out of his net
moments after coming off the bench, but produced
a fine save to deny Martial after the striker's effort
deflected towards goal.

The chance seemed to spark City into life at the
other end and, just after the hour-mark, the hosts
went close to an equaliser twice in quick
succession. First, Bacary Sagna's low cross was
almost met by substitute Wilfried Bony, but for an
excellent challenge from Chris Smalling, before
another right-wing delivery from Toure was headed
onto the woodwork by Sergio Aguero.
City were now well on top, but were struggling to
carve out any noteworthy opportunities. United,
meanwhile, soaked up the pressure expertly, and
defended a number of crosses and goal-mouth
scrambles to maintain the narrow lead.
As six minutes of added time were displayed,
United's battling display was almost cruelly undone
by Aguero, who took down Silva's diagonal ball but
pulled his shot wide, in a chance which rather
summed up City's afternoon.
Instead, the points and derby-day bragging rights
belonged to van Gaal's men, on a memorable day
for Rashford and United.

Possession: City 54% United 46%
Shots at goal: City 26 United 5
Shots on target: City 3 United 4
Corners: City 11 United 4

City: Hart (Caballero 50'), Sagna, Demichelis (Bony
53'), Mangala, Clichy, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas,
Sterling (Fernando 25'), Silva, Aguero.
Subs not used: Zabaleta, Kolarov, M.Garcia,
Booked: Mangala

United: De Gea, Darmian (Fosu-Mensah
82'), Smalling, Blind, Rojo (Valencia 62'),
Schneiderlin, Carrick, Lingard, Mata (Schweinsteiger
70'), Martial, Rashford.
Subs not used: Romero, Fellaini, Januzaj, Memphis.
Booked: Smalling

"I think it is more than three points. The position
we are in the league meant it was a must win
today. We had to get the three points before the
international break to give us a boost and
something to go at when we come back." - Michael

"When I see the dressing room, I think it shall give
a boost and real belief - it was fantastic to see. We
fight every match of course but now we have a big
result and it was a long time ago that United has
won here so it's also for the fantastic for the fans
that we have won." - Louis van Gaal

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Manchester Utd vs Liverpool 2nd Leg


Europa League Round of 16 Second leg | 17 March
2016 | Old Trafford | Attendance: TBC | Scorers:
Martial pen. 32 / Coutinho 45

Manchester United's Europa League campaign is
over after Louis van Gaal's men were held 1-1 by
Liverpool at Old Trafford and defeated 3-1 over
two legs.
Anthony Martial's 32nd-minute penalty, earned and
converted by the Frenchman amid a lively start by
United, gave his team a foothold in the tie and
provided hope to the vocal home fans. But the
dreaded away goal was conceded at a bad time,
just before the break, when Liverpool playmaker
Philippe Coutinho cleverly dinked the ball over
David De Gea to equalise on the night and leave
the hosts with an almighty task.
United now required three second-half goals to win
but there would be no further scoring by either
side as Jurgen Klopp's team reached the quarter-
finals essentially on the strength of their first-leg
victory at Anfield, topped up by that quality strike
from Coutinho.

United: De Gea; Varela (Valencia 46), Smalling,
Blind, Rojo (Darmian 63); Carrick (Schweinsteiger
71), Fellaini; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Rashford.
Subs not used: Romero, Williams, Schneiderlin,
Booked: Blind, Fellaini, Schweinsteiger

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Milner;
Can, Henderson (Allen 71), Lallana, Coutinho,
Firmino (Benteke 85); Sturridge (Origi 67).
Subs not used: Ward, Toure, Smith, Ibe.
Booked: Coutinho, Clyne, Firmino

United 59%  Liverpool 41%

United 17 Liverpool 13

Shots on Target
United 3 Liverpool 7

United 5 Liverpool 3

United 14 Liverpool 11

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Man Utd Vs West Ham Utd


Emirates FA Cup quarter-final | 13 March 2016 | Old
Trafford | Attendance: TBC | Scorers: Martial 83 /
Payet 68

Manchester United remain in the Emirates FA Cup
courtesy of Anthony Martial's late equaliser after
Dimitri Payet's stunning free-kick appeared to be
sending West Ham United into the semi-finals.

The two teams must reconvene at Upton Park in a
bid to join Crystal Palace, Everton and Watford in
the last four of the competition last won by the
Reds in 2004.

The Hammers started like a side high on
confidence and, backed by their travelling support,
they created the first real chance but Michail
Antonio scuffed wide from Andy Carroll's through
ball. With Marcos Rojo in the middle, presumably to
help contain Carroll's aerial threat, there was some
relief when the England international dived to head
an Aaron Cresswell centre off target.
Cresswell's attacking raids caused problems as
another of his crosses led to Emmanuel Emenike
forcing a save out of David De Gea.

Randolph remained untested at the other end, as
Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford, with an
overhead kick, failed to trouble the former Charlton
Athletic keeper.

Ander Herrera volleyed Anthony Martial's deep
cross the wrong side of the far post, even if it
looked like it took a deflection, and the midfielder
skied the best opening of the half for the Reds
following a move of real quality involving Rojo and

Rashford, playing through the middle with Martial
on the left flank, was unable to profit after the ball
bounced off the Frenchman inside the box and
West Ham finished the half on the front foot with
Cresswell forcing a smart stop out of De Gea.

Possession: United 56% West Ham 44%
Shots at goal: United 8 West Ham 7
Shots on target: United 0 West Ham 1
Corners: United 4 West Ham 0

The Reds started to make some headway after the
interval and Herrera's free-kick from out on the left
went straight into Randolph's midriff to produce a
first shot on target for Louis van Gaal's men.

Another effort by the midfielder bounced up and hit
Reid on the elbow inside the box but referee
Atkinson ignored the penalty appeals.
The Hammers had a big shout of their own when
Payet was tumbling before Rojo made contact with
him, even if everybody of a United persuasion were
mightily relieved when nothing was given. Rashford
had been blocked by Randolph when latching onto
a Lingard pass but the visitors pressed again and
took the lead with a moment of genius by Payet.

The Frenchman took his time before unleashing a
ferocious free-kick that flew past De Gea and
sparked 'Wembley' songs from the jubilant away
end. Van Gaal pitched Memphis Depay and Bastian
Schweinsteiger into action but Guillermo Varela
needed to be fleet of foot to deny Payet a one-on-
one situation seconds later.

Smalling teed Schweinsteiger up for a
disappointingly wayward drive and the German's
fellow sub Memphis miscontrolled the ball as the
Reds built up a first spell of real pressure. It was
rewarded with seven minutes left when Martial was
involved in the build up that led to Herrera crossing
from the right and the young French forward stole
in beyond the far post to force it over the line.

Rojo scooped wide when Memphis appeared in a
position to shoot, only to delay and pass instead,
as the crowd found its voice, and Carrick snaked a
low shot just wide in front of the buoyant Stretford
End. In stoppage time, it took a De Gea stop to
keep out Antonio's drive and ensure the two sides
must do battle again for the right to go to

Possession: United 61% West Ham 39%
Shots at goal: United 18 West Ham 10
Shots on target: United 2 West Ham 3
Corners: United 7 West Ham 4

United: De Gea; Varela (Darmian 87), Smalling,
Rojo, Blind; Carrick, Fellaini (Schweinsteiger 76);
Lingard, Herrera, Martial; Rashford (Memphis 76).
Subs not used: Romero, Williams, Schneiderlin,
Booked: Fellaini, Carrick.

West Ham: Randolph; Reid (Obiang 61), Ogbonna,
Kouyate, Cresswell; Antonio, Noble, Lanzini, Payet;
Emenike (Sakho 64), Carroll (Valencia 82).
Subs not used: Adrian, Song, O'Brien, Moses.
Booked: Antonio, Reid, Kouyate, Payet.

Louis van Gaal: "I have to say it was a great match
between two good sides. The difference was that
we have played a match on Thursday and they
have a full week of preparation. In the first 15
minutes, I think West Ham were the better team
and created a few chances but, after that, we were
coming back and also created chances. Not the
biggest chances but we created chances. In the
second half, we were the better team and they
scored from a free-kick. We are behind and have
lost against West Brom and Liverpool this week but
then you can come back like that and I think it's

Slaven Bilic: "Manchester United are a different
team when they play away and don't have that
confidence. It is very hard to play here with 75,000
fans and this atmosphere. It is going to be a tough
game but I fancy us because we're going to be
even more confident."

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Liverpool Vs Man Utd 1st Leg

UEFA Europa League | 10 March 2016 | Anfield |
Attendance: 43,228 | Scorers: Sturridge pen (20'),
Firmino (73')

Manchester United will have to overturn a first-leg
deficit in order to reach the Europa League
quarter-finals, after a disappointing 2-0 defeat
against Liverpool at Anfield.

The hosts took the lead midway through the first
half courtesy of a Daniel Sturridge penalty and,
despite a string of excellent saves from David De
Gea, doubled their advantage with 17 minutes
remaining through Roberto Firmino's close-range

Ahead of the game, Louis van Gaal opted to make
three changes to the side that lost at West Brom
last time out, with Guillermo Varela, Morgan
Schneiderlin and Marouane Fellaini replacing
Matteo Darmian, Michael Carrick and Ander
Both sets of fans were in fine voice to greet the
players as they emerged from the tunnel, but
United were determined not to get caught up in the
occasion and immediately went on the attack,
though Marcus Rashford was unable to connect
fully with Memphis's cross.

After an expectedly frantic opening period, the first
real opportunity for either side brought the game's
first goal. With 19 minutes played, Nathaniel Clyne
earned the hosts a penalty after going down in the
area under challenge from Memphis and, despite
De Gea getting a hand to it, Sturridge converted
the spot-kick.

With the visitors rattled, it might have been 2-0 just
minutes later, but this time the keeper came out on
top. Again Sturridge was involved, this time digging
out a low cross to the far post towards an
unmarked Philippe Coutinho, but De Gea somehow
got back to claw the ball away and in turn deny
what looked like a certain goal.

The Spaniard was called upon again shortly after
the half-hour mark, with Liverpool in search of a
second goal. There was an element of fortune
about the home side's next chance as Smalling
slipped while attempting to head a cross to safety,
allowing Sturridge time to shoot, but De Gea stood
tall to block the striker's effort.

Meanwhile, van Gaal's men were struggling to
make a mark on the contest, but did register a
couple of rare shots on goal with half-time
approaching, as Memphis's long-range free-kick
swerved comfortably wide, before Marcos Rojo
blasted over from range.

There was time for another superb first-half stop
from De Gea, as Liverpool attacked down the right
through Emre Can. The midfielder crossed towards
Adam Lallana, whose close-range volley was kept
out excellently, a save which kept the game firmly
in the balance going into the break.

Possession: Liverpool 61% United 39%
Shots at goal: Liverpool 6 United 3
Shots on target: Liverpool 5 United 0
Corners: Liverpool 2 United 0

A difficult first half for United prompted a change
in formation and personnel at the interval, as
Michael Carrick was introduced, in a substitution
which immediately gave van Gaal's men more
control. Schneiderlin tried his luck from the edge
of the area on 47 minutes, but his effort was saved
easily by Simon Mignolet.

Liverpool were quick to remind van Gaal's side of
their attacking threat though, and created an
opportunity of their own at the other end. This
time, Coutinho's goal-bound volley dipped towards
the top corner, but again it was De Gea to the
rescue, as the keeper dived to tip the ball over the

If there were any questions about United's
standout performer at Anfield, De Gea soon erased
any doubt, after being called upon yet again to
keep the hosts at bay with 25 minutes remaning.
Clyne found space on the edge of the area and
drove a shot towards goal, but United's no.1 proved
his worth once more, palming the ball to safety.

There was nothing De Gea could do about
Liverpool's second goal, however, which eventually
came on 73 minutes. After Carrick's attempt to
clear the ball fell short, Lallana seized his chance
to pull the ball back for Firmino, who had the
simplest of finishes from six yards.
Despite the setback, an away goal would have
changed the complexion of the tie, and was almost
provided by Fellaini with five minutes remaining.
Bastian Schweinsteiger - off the bench as a late
substitute and making his first appearance since
January - crossed to the far post but the Belgian's
header dropped narrowly wide.
Next week's fascinating second leg at Old Trafford
awaits, with United in need of another memorable
European comeback.

Possession: Liverpool 58% United 42%
Shots at goal: Liverpool 13 United 8
Shots on target: Liverpool 5 United 1
Corners: Liverpool 7 United 0

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno,
Can, Henderson, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino (Origi
84'), Sturridge (Allen 64').
Subs not used: Ward, Benteke, Toure, Smith, Ojo.
Booked: Henderson, Lovren

United: De Gea, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Rojo,
Schneiderlin (Schweinsteiger 79'), Fellaini,
Memphis, Mata (Herrera 79'), Martial, Rashford
(Carrick 46').

Subs not used: Romero, Darmian, Riley, Weir.
Booked: Memphis, Rashford, Fellaini Bastian
Schweinsteiger is on the bench and could make his
first appearance since the Emirates FA Cup win
over Sheffield United on 9 January.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is on the bench and could
make his first appearance since the Emirates FA
Cup win over Sheffield United on 9 January.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

West Brom Vs Man Utd Report

Salomon Rondon scored the only goal of the match
as West Browich Albion defeated 10-man
Manchester United 1-0, dealing a blow to the
visitors' top-four hopes.

United came into the contest buoyed by four wins in
a row in all competitions, but their task at The
Hawthorns was made tougher when Juan Mata
picked up the first Barclays Premier League red card
of his career with two quick-fire bookings in the first
Louis van Gaal's side responded well to that setback
and came close to opening the scoring through
Marcus Rashford as they looked to counter West
Brom, who struggled to carve out many meaningful
chances despite their advantage.
Yet Tony Pulis' men found their breakthrough
midway through the second half thanks to Rondon's
clever finish from close range - his fourth goal in six
league matches.
Van Gaal's side pushed for an equaliser, but diligent
West Brom defending ensured the visitors remain
sixth in the table and three points behind
Manchester City in fourth, having played one more
United, who welcomed back Chris Smalling, Matteo
Darmian and Michael Carrick to the starting line-up,
started brightly, but Craig Dawson missed the first
decent chance when he headed wide following
Rondon's teasing cross.
The home side began to look an increasing threat on
the break and from set-pieces as United laboured in
possession, with belief among the home fans
growing further when Mata was sent off for two
yellow cards picked up in the space of three minutes
- the first for blocking a quick free-kick, the second
for a late swing of his left foot to bring down former
team-mate Darren Fletcher.
United were forced on to the defensive, but, barring
a low drive from Saido Berahino which David De Gea
saved comfortably, West Brom were struggling to
make their numerical advantage count.
Indeed, it was United who next came closest to
breaking the deadlock just after half-time, as
Rashford's low shot from the edge of the area
deflected narrowly wide of Ben Foster's left-hand
post after a strong run from Anthony Martial, before
Jesse Lingard clipped the top of the net with a
looping drive from 25 yards.
Berahino stabbed substitute Sebastien Pocognoli's
cross narrowly over the crossbar, but United failed
to heed the warning as the full-back picked out
Rondon in space just six yards out and the
Venezuelan controlled the ball superbly before
drilling low into the corner past De Gea.
Van Gaal threw on Memphis Depay in hope of a
similar comeback to that produced by 10-man
Liverpool at Crystal Palace earlier in the day, but
West Brom held on for a win that takes them to
within a point of the top 10 and leaves United facing
an uphill battle to keep pace with the challengers for
a UEFA Champions League place.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Man Utd vs Watford


Barclays Premier League | 2 March 2016 | Old
Trafford | Attendance: 75,282 | Scorers: Mata 83

A late free-kick from Juan Mata gave Manchester
United an important victory over Watford on
Wednesday night.
The midfielder, named captain ahead of the game
in the absence of Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick
and Chris Smalling, stepped up to curl home a
delightful effort on 83 minutes to settle a hard-
fought contest at Old Trafford.
Anthony Martial was named in a youthful starting
line-up after recovering from a recent hamstring
injury, while in-form striker Marcus Rashford
retained his place up front. 21-year-old
midfielder Joe Rothwell was named among the
substitutes, the latest on a long list of youngsters
to appear in a first-team squad this season.
Louis van Gaal’s men went into the clash on the
back of Sunday’s confidence-boosting victory over
Arsenal, but it was the visitors who started on the
front foot, looking early to Troy Deeney and Odion
It was United, though, who almost took the lead on
seven minutes, as Daley Blind’s cross was sliced
towards his own goal by Jose Holebas, but
Heurelho Gomes was alert to the danger. The Reds
also might have scored when Ander Herrera’s deep
cross reached an unmarked Martial at the far post,
but the Frenchman couldn’t direct his header on
Watford were eager to show why they have earned
so many plaudits since winning promotion from the
Championship, and created an opening of their own
through Ighalo, who found half a yard before seeing
his goal-bound effort deflect wide. United
meanwhile were yet to settle into any sort of
rhythm, but a superb challenge from Tim Fosu-
Mensah – making his first start for the club –
sparked some life into the Reds.
Van Gaal’s men went within inches of taking the
lead on 19 minutes when Mata’s free-kick was
cleared as far as Morgan Schneiderlin, who hit a
dipping volley from 25 yards that dropped just wide
of Gomes’ right-hand post.
With both sides looking to attack but lacking in end
product, the Hornets again went close just before
the half-hour mark. Again, Ighalo’s clever
movement bought the striker some space in the
area, but his shot bobbled narrowly wide with De
Gea rooted to the spot.
The best opportunities of an closely-contested half
came shortly before the break, and unsurprisingly
fell at the feet of Ighalo. The Nigerian raced onto a
misplaced header and into the box, but De Gea
stuck out a leg to keep the scores level, before the
goalkeeper was called into action once more on 42
minutes. Ighalo again latched onto a loose pass,
but the Spaniard dived at his feet to deny what
should have been the opener, and in turn earn the
praise of Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores, his
former coach at Atletico Madrid, as the teams
walked down the tunnel.
POSSESSION: United 64% Watford 36%
SHOTS (ON TARGET): United 6 (1) Watford 8 (3)
CORNERS: United 3 Watford 3

The second half began as the first had ended, and
Watford were almost celebrating a goal just three
minutes after the interval. Etienne Capoue picked
up the ball in midfield and unleashed a fierce strike
which zipped just over De Gea’s crossbar.
Sebastian Prodl went even closer for the visitors
minutes later, when his header was cleared off the
line by Rashford following a Watford corner.
The Hornets were on top, and might have taken
advantage through Ighalo 10 minutes into the
second period, as the striker turned Fosu-Mensah
and curled a shot past the post. They were almost
punished on the hour–mark though, as Mata stung
the palms of Gomes from the edge of the area, in
United’s first meaningful attack of the half.

The Reds were growing in confidence and, urged
forward by the fans, created two great openings in
quick succession. First, Rashford showed quick
footwork to get to the byline and drove a low cross
into the area, before Mata’s curling effort flew past
the diving Gomes and ended up well wide.
Watford were quick to remind United that they
possessed an attacking threat, and had a couple of
chances of their own as the game entered its final
stages. As the Hornets pressed, Blind’s attempted
clearance ricocheted off Fosu-Mensah and into the
path of Nordin Amrabat, but the substitute couldn’t
apply the finish. From the corner that followed,
Prodl raced in at the back post and headed inches
wide, in a sequence that summed up the game to
that point.

The all-important goal finally came with seven
minutes remaining, as Miguel Britos brought down
Martial on the edge of the area. Mata stepped up
to convert the resulting free-kick, bending a
beautiful effort over the wall and beyond the reach
of Gomes. The Spaniard was withdrawn late on, to
a much-deserved ovation from those inside Old
Trafford, with his goal earning the Reds a vital
three points.

POSSESSION: United 61% Watford 39%
SHOTS (ON TARGET): United 14 (3) Watford 13 (3)
CORNERS: United 7 Watford 7

United: De Gea, Varela, Blind, Rojo (Darmian 70),
Fosu-Mensah, Schneiderlin, Herrera (Lingard 77),
Martial, Mata (McNair 89), Memphis, Rashford.
Subs not used: Romero, Riley, Rothwell, Weir.
Booked: Fosu-Mensah.

Watford: Gomes; Nyom, Britos, Prödl, Holebas,
Capoue, Watson, Behrami (Anya 86), Abdi (Suarez
70), Deeney, Ighalo (Amrabat 74).
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Cathcart, Paredes, Ake.
Booked: Britos, Amrabat.

“We are fighting. In the fight, we've played a
fantastic match against Arsenal, and I believe
against Midtjylland we also played very well. The
win against Shrewsbury Town was the start of the
run of victories; I think the youngsters have given
us a lot of spirit, and now when you see the
dressing room full of joy with all the players
laughing, it’s beautiful to see. I think that shall also
accelerate the recovery of the players.” - Louis van

"I think it was very important to win today. It
wasn't the prettiest game we've played all season,
but especially because our rivals didn't win their
games, it's a massive victory for us. That's why we
celebrated the way we did." - Juan Mata.