Following the result, the Red Devils are now 5 points behind the Citizens, who play against Southampton on Wednesday.
Here’s how Jose Mourinho’s men fared during the crunch away encounter against Marco Silva’s men:
David de Gea: 5
The Spaniard did not have much to do in the entire game. Had very little say in Watford’s two goals, one being a penalty.
Antonio Valencia: 6
Played as a right-wing back and kept his focus. He made some good runs and was aware of his positioning.
Victor Lindelof: 8
Was the star of the three central defenders chosen by Jose. He showed effectiveness with some solid interceptions and sturdy presence.
Chris Smalling: 6
Looked uneasy at times in this formation. Playing his 13th match in a row, did a steady job, but will hope to work on many things in his game.
Marcos Rojo: 4
After looking to have settled down initially, Rojo was booked for a silly challenge before he gave away a penalty later on.
Ashley Young: 9
The stand out performer for United. He scored a sensational goal from a half-volley before placing a stunning free-kick past Gomes. Defended well too.
Nemanja Matic: 5
Looked a bit rusty in the initial stages and passing was a let down. He grew in stature from there on before picking up a strain, and was replaced immediately.
Paul Pogba: 7
Showed why United need him so much with his work ethic and energy. Missed an open chance to head just over the bar.
Jesse Lingard: 8
Ran solidly all over the pitch and enjoyed his game. His brilliant solo goal helped United put the game to bed.
Romelu Lukaku: 6
Provided a fine assist for Anthony Martial before missing a sitter when Lingard fed him on. All-round play was notable.
Anthony Martial: 8
Kept his scoring form on and showed his composure. Looked lively on the left and created a few openings.
Ander Herrera: 6
Replaced Matic and did a decent job for his side after coming on.
Marcus Rashford: 4
No notable impact from the bench.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 5
Appeared as a late substitute, and the sharpness is coming in slowly.
Written by Rajdeep Saha
Sports journalist with stints across print, digital and television. Contribution to each medium has been thrilling. Experienced in writing for this passionate game called football. Journalist by choice and passion.