Manchester United were up against Watford for the 3rd round of their FA Cup tie. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer made a full squad change and also gave the likes of Lingard, Van De Beek and Tuanzebe a start. United started brightly and rewarded with an early goal from Mctominay. However Watford kept on pushing and did not made it easy for United. Alas, United are through to the next round of the FA Cup after winning a goal to nil.
Dean Henderson 6/10
Henderson started between the sticks for United after a relatively decent outing against Man City where he made a couple of good saves but unfortunate to concede 2 goals. He had close to nothing to do. Looked comfortable going out of the box to clear a few early balls played by Watford.
Brandon Williams 6/10
Williams was started in his preferred right back role for maybe only the second time. Put in a decent performance, supported Juan Mata going forward and was solid defensively as well.
Axel Tuanzebe 7/10
Ole handed Tuanzebe a start replacing Victor Lindelof in his preferred right centre half role. A commanding performance from Tuanzebe. Kept Watford’s attack at bay with his pace and used his physicality efficiently against Andre Gray.
Eric Bailly 6/10
United’s in form defender Eric Bailly started ahead of captain Maguire. Many eyebrows were raised when Lindelof replaced him in an important match against Man City which we ultimately lost. Bailly looked solid in the first half but was replaced by Maguire due to yet another injury at the end of first half. However, Bailly wanted to continue with the match but the staff did not permit him to do so which indicates the injury but not be too severe.
Alex Telles 7/10
Another player who did not start against Man City. Had a stellar first half but struggled to make any huge impact in the second half. Played some good looking crosses into the box from corners and open play. Bagged the assist for Mctominay’s goal and could have had one more which Bailly headed just wide. He created six chances in total, twice as many as any other player.
Scott Mctominay 7/10
Mctominay was given the armband in the absence of Harry Maguire. Probably the man of the match for the game. Put in a captain’s performance and Ole’s faith in him was rewarded. Scored a good headed goal and commanded the midfield. A couple of good tackles, interceptions here and there and some good passes to going forward.
Donny van de Beek 7/10
Van de Beek started for United after a long string of games for the first time. Played some lovely football and a lovely back heel towards Juan Mata who should have put it in the back of the net. A solid box to box midfield performance from the Netherlands man.
Jesse Lingard 6/10
Lingard started for the first time for Manchester United this season in the FA Cup. He too had a decent game. Pressed high and ran his socks off. Involved in a couple of good interchange of passes. Important minutes of playtime for him after some time now.
Juan Mata 6/10
Mata started from the RW role but often drifted towards the centre of the pitch interchanging his position with Lingard. A rather average performance from the Spaniard. Not many conclusive impact on the match but managed to play his part in the win.
Mason Greenwood 6/10
Greenwood lead United’s attack as the sole striker. He put in an average performance. Couple of good runs in behind the defence but nothing of major impact.
Daniel James 6/10
Dan James too started in his preferred LW role in the absence of Marcus Rashford. He started off sharp and had a couple of good link up plays with Telles and Lingard. Looked a better version of him tonight.
Harry Maguire 6/10
Maguire replaced Eric Bailly at the start of first half. Played his part in seeing out the match comfortably. Had no trouble whatsoever.
Marcus Rashford 6/10
Rashford came in for Dan James at 70th minute. Made a good darting run beating 2 defenders in the process and opening up a shooting chance which the goalkeeper comfortably saved.
Anthony Martial 6/10
Martial replaced Greenwood and played as the striker for the remainder of the match.
Nemanja Matic 6/10
Matic came on for Lingard in the 78th minute to add more physicality and solidness to the defense to see out the game.
With this victory United are back to winning ways after their defeat against Man City just a couple of days ago. United now go through to the next round of FA Cup and a tricky Premier League match against Burnley awaits. Should United manage to win against Burnley, they’ll go top of the table ahead of Liverpool playing the same amount of matches as them.
Although United played their B side against Watford, they did not face many obstacles going through Watford. However the concern would be Bailly’s condition at present. Reports say he was ready to carry on so only time will tell if Bailly is in contention to start against Burnley. Bailly is crucial to United’s defense and he would surely be a huge miss for United if he is to be sidelined. Let’s hope for the best and keep our fingers crossed.
What do you think about our performance tonight? Do you agree with our ratings? What changes would you make if any? Do let us know your thoughts.
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