Watford claimed a stunning victory against Manchester United as the Hornets scored three goals in the deserved win at the Vicarage Road. Mourinho opted for a strong-side against Watford after their surprising defeat in the Europa League in the last game.
Eric Bailey had recovered from a knock he sustained against Feyenoord, so he partnered with Chris Smalling to marshal United’s defense. Upfront Ibrahimovic returned to the starting lineup, and so did the skipper, Wayne Rooney. Spanish midfielder Juan Mata was relegated to the bench, while young striker Marcus Rashford started on the right side.
Man United started the game brightly as Mourinho’s team showed some incisive passing in the opposition half in the first few minutes. But in the 10th minute of the game, Watford appealed for a penalty after Fellaini blatantly tugged back Deeney in United’s penalty box. The referee Micheal Oliver, however, thought no action was necessary.
On the 23rd minute, Manchester United had a great chance to score through Ibrahimovic after some fine work from Rashford in the right wing. But, the big Swede could only hit the side-netting, which was the first real chance of the match.
Five minutes later, Pogba came close to scoring for Manchester United. The Frenchman unleashed a vicious shot from 30 yards. Unfortunately, the ball came off the crossbar.
United’s profligacy was punished by Watford immediately as the Hornets scored the first goal through Etienne Capoue. A combination of Janmaat and Britos robbed Anthony Martial of the ball, and the wing-back showed great consciousness to cut the ball back to Capoue on the edge of the area, who slammed beyond the Manchester United goalkeeper.
On the 40-minute mark, Ibrahimovic was offered a decent chance to grab an equalizer, but the 35-year-old missed again as he seemed to have forgotten his scoring boots at home.
Surprisingly, Watford boss Walter Mazzarri chose an attacking substitution five minutes into the second half, bringing on Nordin Amrabat in the place of Janmaat.
After an hour into the game, Mourinho sent Mata on for Valencia, and the change had an immediate effect. Ibra did some fine work, charging forward and linking up with Rashford, and then clipping a cross in. The Englishman missed initially, but a lucky deflection made the ball arrive at his feet again, and this time, he netted calmly.
But the next significant move belonged to Watford as the Hornets scored in the 83rd minute through Camilo Zuniga. Troy Deeney scored another from the penalty spot in injury time, which confirmed Watford’s stunning victory over Manchester United, the first in 28 years.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho, as he has done many times in the past, blamed the loss towards the referee, as reported by Goal.
The Portuguese said, “In the first half for about 25 to 30 minutes we didn’t play well and that is something that we can control. We can improve, we can work on it.”
“Then the referee and the linesman’s mistake is not under my control. I can’t do anything to improve it. That [the Martial incident] is an obvious situation.”
“I think there is no debate, no controversy. I think that is an obvious situation, like it was obvious last week against Man City but it’s something I don’t control and I cannot even be critical of. “
“In the eyes of everyone — it doesn’t matter whether you are a Manchester United fan or a Watford fan or whatever — it was obvious.”
The defeat means Mourinho has now lost three games in a row, and the pressure is starting to pile on him.
Interestingly, a small section of the United fans felt that Mourinho should now be sacked as a Manchester United manager.
Mourinho has taken us as far as he could, thanks for the community shield & 3 consecutive wins but it's time to say goodbye. #MourinhoOut— Craig (@UBloodySchwein) September 18, 2016
Never done this before as a United Fan but.. #MourinhoOut ... A manager with no style of play— Moroti (@Bobo_lee) September 18, 2016
Watch Watford vs. Manchester United highlights in the videos below.
[Featured Image by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images]