Manchester United emerged triumphant at Vicarage Road, as they were able to trump Watford 2-1.
First-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling set the ball rolling in favor of the Red Devils, and although Watford responded with a goal from Andre Gray and looked threatening in the dying moments of the match, the scoreline stood.
While Lukaku’s opener was a brilliant one, Smalling’s goal was a pure tactical masterclass and was undoubtedly engineered from numerous practiced set-pieces in the training ground. As a result, when the Mancunian giants went 2-0 up, a special reaction awaited.
Rio Ferdinand responded excitedly to Smalling’s goal and was quite happy at the build-up. He went on to say: “Fellaini is a menace in that area. It’s a great finish from Chris Smalling.”
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) September 15, 2018
It is clear that playing Fellaini in the spot paid off brilliantly, as he also had a vital role in Lukaku’s opener. However, in engineering the second goal, Mourinho must have been tremendously happy at the link-up between the Belgian and Smalling.
It is moments of tactical advantages like these for which the Portuguese gaffer insistently held on and re-signed Fellaini earlier this summer.
What one is left to wonder is whether or not this will be a regular ploy, or if Mourinho will be wary of his opponent making the simple collection and begin heavily marking the former Everton man when he becomes threatening.
A win at Burnley followed by this showing at Watford will mean that United can breathe easy, as they are right on track to become title contenders again without being laughed at.
Interestingly, by defeating Watford, United ensured that never in the history of the Premier League have three teams won their first five matches.