Jose Mourinho cut a relaxed and largely content Manchester United boss after the match, although he was “a bit frustrated” that his side didn’t wrap up the three points at Watford after opening up a two-goal lead.

The Red Devils were in control at the break thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling, but they were unable to build on that cushion after the break and ultimately needed a last-gasp save from David de Gea to make sure of the 2-1 win.

The United boss said: “I’m very happy with the points, I’m very happy with the spirit, I’m very happy with something that represents for me the spirit of the team which is Lukaku sliding tackle after running back 50 metres to help the team. But I feel a bit frustrated because we had everything in the first half to kill the game.

“I think if we play in the second half like we did in the last part of the first half we would be with a completely different and without the last 10 minutes.

“But at the beginning of the second half we let the game go down in intensity, we stopped being aggressive with and without the ball, we gave them the chance to rebound and to score a goal and to give us a difficult match.”

Mourinho was particularly pleased with United’s second goal – Smalling hooking the ball past Ben Foster after Marouane Fellaini had pulled into space at the back post to head a corner into the six-yard box – because it was a move he had worked on training.

“We trained the corner during the week and it is the best thing that can happen to coaches is when you train and see it happen in the match,” he said. “They are happening in these last three matches, even in the one (3-0 defeat) against Tottenham, things are happening that we are working on, the positioning, the movement.

“But the set pieces are a very specific thing that you work, you work, you work and sometimes weeks and weeks and weeks you don’t see the result of that work, so when it happened it was happiness for coaches.”