Ashley Young returned to haunt Watford as a second half comeback fell just short to and Manchester United beat the Hornets 4-2.

The former Watford man scored a fine first-half brace to add to an Anthony Martial effort and give the visitors a 3-0 lead at the interval.

Marco Silva’s side rallied after the break and Troy Deeney came from the bench to score a penalty before Abdoulaye Doucoure made it 3-2.

Any hopes of a stunning recovery were extinguished when Jesse Lingard ran from inside his own half to complete the scoring with an individual strike four minutes from time.

Here’s how the Golden Boys rated at Vicarage Road.

Heurelho Gomes – 6

Watford Observer:

Could do little about United’s three first half goals. He made a fine recovery stop at the end of the half to keep the score at 3-0 having initially parried the ball into the path of Jesse Lingard.

Adrian Mariappa – 5

Sloppy on the ball and was given a torrid time by Martial in the first half, as the wide-man repeatedly cut in from the left and ran at him. Was unsurprisingly booked for scything down the Red Devils number 11.

Should have been punished for a poor touch which allowed Romelu Lukaku a clear shot at goal, but the Belgian dallied on the ball and allowed Mariappa to get back in position.

Sebastian Prödl – 5

Making his first start since September and was horribly out of position for the United third.

Was some way up the pitch to allow Martial to race clear and couldn’t make up the ground as the forward calmly finished. Little surprise when he was replaced.

Christian Kabasele – 5.5

Watford Observer:

Over-committed for the United opener, losing out in a challenge with Lingard which allowed him to knock the ball into Young who rifled home.

Stood off as Lingard brought the ball forward for the United fourth, but was the best of Watford’s three centre-backs.

Kiko Femenía – 6

Looked bright in the early exchanges and provided the first opening with a clever piece of skill to turn past Young and cross for Richarlison.

However, a poor touch presented United with the chance to break for their third.

Made a superb run across the pitch before clipping a cross into Richarlison who hit the bar with Watford’s best chance of the half.

Tom Cleverley -5.5

Watford Observer:

What Cleverley wouldn’t give to have his time again when pursuing Lingard late on. He had ample chance to foul the United man who went on to score.

It would have been a cynical move but that is the sort of “professionalism” which wins points at Premier League level.

Doing so would have left the score at 3-2 and set up a frenetic conclusion.

Abdoulaye Doucouré – 6.5

Perhaps the biggest test the Frenchman has faced this season as he came up against compatriot Paul Pogba.

The United man ran away from him in the 24th minute, winning the free-kick from which Young scored a brilliant second.

Improved markedly after the break and started to get on the ball more. Marked his better display with a well taken goal – his fifth of a productive season – which gave Watford hope by making it 3-2.

Marvin Zeegelaar – 6

Someway off the levels he produced in his first two games in a Watford shirt and struggled against Antonio Valencia.

Notable that most of United’s better moments came down the opposite flank and he was blameless for all four goals.

Will Hughes – 6

Watford Observer:

So unfortunate to pick up a hamstring injury just as his Watford career was looking to be taking flight.

Struggled to impose himself on the game but showed commitment with the best part of an hour he played.

Richarlison – 6

Went close to scoring in the first half when heading powerfully against the bar from Femenia’s cross. Failed to have his usual influence on the game but worked hard.

Andre Gray – 5

Had precious little to feed on throughout and cut a frustrated figure. Hold up play, once again, could have been better though.

It was telling that Watford played better when Deeney was introduced, with the Watford skipper providing an attacking focal point for the first time in the evening.


Andre Carrillo – 7

The Peru international’s pace provided a useful outlet for Watford and in hindsight this game could have been suited to his ability to break at speed.

Put in the cross which provided Watford’s second and picked out Deeney with a number of good balls in.

Roberto Pereyra – 6.5

Was tidy on the ball and did well to win the penalty after turning Marcos Rojo.

Troy Deeney – 7

Watford Observer:

The Watford skipper’s introduction lifted the crowd and changed the mood around Vicarage Road.

Scored a well-taken penalty and gave Victor Lindelof a tough time as he offered a target for Watford to hit with crosses into the box.

Rose well to head at goal but couldn’t beat David de Gea with his effort.