Manchester United were a side to be reckoned with as Old Trafford was treated to a 3-0 victory over Watford on Sunday, propelling Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to a promising momentum.
The Red Devils secured victory by virtue of a penalty goal from Bruno Fernandes, a picturesque dink from Anthony Martial, and a thumping finish from Mason Greenwood. Watford did see a temporary goal scored by Troy Deeney, only for VAR to rule it out due to a hand-ball in the buildup.
1. Table Jump
United are now in the fifth position on the Premier League table with 41 points to their name, a mere 3 points away from fourth-placed Chelsea. Keeping in mind Manchester City’s likely Champions League ban, this fifth place could easily become the final Champions League spot for the next campaign and as such, United are in a convincing spot.
Then again, the fact that Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United are just a point shy of them and Wolverhampton Wanderers not too far behind with two points will also have to be kept in mind.
Simply put, United will have to make the most out of upcoming games with Everton, Manchester City, and Tottenham to keep up this momentum.
2. That Martial Goal
Anthony Martial netted an absolutely remarkable goal to make it 2-0. The Frenchman clearly had glory on his mind from the moment he lured Ben Foster away from the safety of his goalpost, with the dink a much more difficult maneuver to execute than passing to a teammate as he was expected to do.
Fans loved it, Solskjaer loved it and the Norwegian’s hopeful prediction that the former Monaco man will net 20 goals this campaign looks likely now that the tally stands at 15, with 3 back-to-back goals.
A debut goal in style. Bruno Fernandes was impactful throughout the game and the fact that he both won and scored the penalty speaks volumes about the same. In fact, given that the Portuguese midfielder actually read Foster’s tendency well and went into that play is a further testament to his on-field intelligence.
Further still, his calm finish to send the keeper in the wrong direction was also commendable and after a season riddled with penalty misses, United may have found their regular spot-kick taker.
4. Greenwood Just Keeps Getting Better
Gifted a start by Solskjaer, the 18-year-old academy graduate did what he does best, scoring an absolutely thumping finish.
Much has been said about his clinical ability all campaign and goals like this further cement just what the Red Devils have been missing. A clear top-talent for the club’s future and the fact that this was his 11th goal this campaign shows that perhaps he too may be on the track to that magical 20-goal figure.
Further still, the fact that Bruno Fernandes assisted his goal is a further cause of joy for the Red Devils who will now be expecting a regular partnership to flourish.
5. Watford Targeted Fred
For much of the first half of the game, Watford appeared to be totally in control with United having clearly misjudged their tactics and forward approach.
In fact, Nigel Pearson’s men had hooked on to a great tactic that was working wonders. Having singled out Fred, their midfield kept targeting the Brazilian, resulting in him losing the ball, which often initiated a counter-attack. This was repeated several times and the fact that it wasn’t paired with a regular high-press may have cost the side numerous opportunities.