Matic sees red, but Manchester United stop the run of Watford

Matic sees red, but Manchester United stop the run of Watford

José Mourinho saw his Manchester United side win for the first time in the Premier League this season despite Nemanja Matic's late red card.

United prevailed 2-1 against Watford at Vicarage Road and David De Gea thanked for a break in injury time by Christian Kabasele when the Hornets equalized.

The hosts had won all four league games before beating United, which was 100 percent successful thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling. The answer came from Andre Gray.

Chris Smalling celebrated an impressive second for Manchester United (Nigel French / PA)

In the 35th minute Lukaku opened with a clean shot finish and in the 35th minute Smalling scored the Red Devils.

Former United goalkeeper Ben Foster rescued the game to keep the gap, and Watford gave himself the chance to save a shot through Grays second goal of the season.

In the search for the compensation, however, they came too short, although Matic was dismissed in the last few minutes.

Jose Mourinho celebrates the victory of Manchester United after the final whistle (Nigel French / PA)

Mourinho could not muster the suspended Marcus Rashford – a player he used to defend during his pre-game press conference.

And while Hornets boss Javi Gracia nominated an unchanged squad for the fifth time, Mourinho beat Luke Shaw – the left-back was completely rested after a concussion while playing for England.

His successor, the former Watford winger Ashley Young, scored here in Manchester last season a 2-2 victory and played again a role.

De Gea made the first sustained stop of the evening and tapped a Troy Deeney shot over the crossbar after Smalling was caught by a long ball.

Troy Deeney went close to Watford (Nigel French / PA)

The guests thought they had taken the lead midway through the first half, but Alexis Sanchez was offside when he controlled Matic's flank and finished.

The Chilean striker returned to the lead for the first time after half an hour, scoring Foster with a shot and United scoring shortly after.

After the free-kick was finally cleared by the hosts, Young collected the ball and approached Lukaku, who was able to direct the ball home from close range.

Romelu Lukaku forced the ball from close range (Nigel French / PA)

The lead could almost have been doubled when Foster resumed action, this time with a Paul Pogba goal.

But United did not have to wait long, as another Pogba embarrassed from the corner.

This time, Young's corner was shot deep into the pits, with Maringa Fellaini skilfully controlled by Smalling on the chest and the defender pushing the ball past Foster from six yards out.

Mourinho's men should have scored a third goal just before the half-time whistle, but Foster held Watford in his hand again and threw himself ahead of Pogba's melee strike.

Andre Gray pulled one back for Watford (Nigel French / PA)

The hosts reacted well after half-time and halved the deficit when Gray was released in the middle of the goal to make Abdoulaye Doucoure's low cross 25 minutes from time.

Watford was the livelier of the two sides, but left gaps as they watched the match – Foster and Craig Cathcart combined to prevent Sanchez from knocking United off in a crashing third goal.

De Gea gratefully retained a well-done Doucoure effort as the game went into stoppage time, where Matic collected a second yellow card for the foul on Will Hughes.

De Gea had to be in top form to free Kabasele's goalless header when United took the lead.


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