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EPL 2016/17: Manchester United 2-0 Watford, Player Ratings

Davis James
ANALYST
Feature
4.58K   //    12 Feb 2017, 00:07 IST
Mata scored the opening goal of the game

Manchester United continued their excellent run of form in the English Premier League as a clinical 2-0 performance against Watford taking their unbeaten league run to 16 games. Barring a few moments, Jose Mourinho's men dominated the game from the start to end as they peppered the Watford defence with attack after attack.

Although Watford had a few chances, they were unable to capitalise on them and had to finish the game with nothing to show for. United's win takes them very close to the Champions League spots and Mourinho will be hoping that his team can move up from the invariable sixth position in the forthcoming weeks.


Manchester United (4-2-3-1):

David de Gea (Goalkeeper): 7/10

The Manchester United stopper did not have a lot to do but whenever called upon, he came up with the goods with some vital saves to help his side keep the clean sheet.

Antonio Valencia: 7/10

Valencia continued his consistent form for the Red Devils with his balance in both attack and defence. His near-perfect performance was probably marred by a late yellow card following a needless challenge.

Eric Bailly: 8/10

Since his return to the first team, Bailly has been rock solid at the back and the Ivorian was brilliant in central defence, again. He made five tackles, and with his pace, was also able to carry the ball forward from defence.

Chris Smalling: 7/10

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Although Smalling might not have won as many tackles as Bailly, he was immense in the air as he won most of his aerial duels against the Watford players and passed the ball around well.

Daley Blind: 7/10

Blind played well on the left flank and contributed well in attack and also tracked back well to defend. Despite not being a regular starter, he found the right rhythm in his game.

Ander Herrera: 8/10

Herrera has been one of the main reasons for Manchester United's consistent performances and he proved yet again why, with his excellent ability to break up play and start counter attacks for his side.

Paul Pogba: 8/10

Pogba partnered Herrera well in the defensive midfield position, putting in tackles when necessary as well as driving forward and taking shots. One of his well-struck shots was kept out by Heurelho Gomes.

Juan Mata: 8.5/10

Mata is making a habit of scoring regularly as he scored the first goal in the first half. The Spaniard could have had at least an assist as his set-up was missed by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 7.5/10

On another day, Mkhitaryan could probably have had a hat-trick with the number of shots he took. However, he did not seem to have his shooting boots on despite showing elegance and class in Man United's attacking moves.

Anthony Martial: 9/10

Martial had a brilliant game as he set up one and scored the second

Martial had an excellent game and was Manchester United's best player as he scored a goal and claimed an assist. He was a constant threat to Craig Cathcart, who played at right-back, and ran him ragged and also created chances aplenty for his side.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 8/10

Although Ibrahimovic did not get on the scoresheet, the Swede was brilliant throughout and was unlucky not to have scored a goal with Gomes making some brilliant saves. He did set up Martial with a first-time ball for the second goal.

Substitutes

Marouane Fellaini: 6/10

Fellaini came on for Mata in the 72nd minute and helped keep things tight for his manager defensively and in passing the ball around.

Marcus Rashford: 6/10

Rashford only played the last 10 minutes and did not get a lot of time to make some impact. He did take a shot that was saved by Gomes.

Jesse Lingard: NA

Lingard only came on as a sub during the 89th minute and very little time to make some impact.


Watford (4-2-3-1)

Watford’s Gomes made a couple of important saves

Heurelho Gomes: 7.5/10

Gomes was Watford's best player as he thwarted many of Manchester United's goal attempts with nine saves to his name. Without Gomes, Watford might have suffered a pounding at the hands of the home side.

Craig Cathcart: 6/10

Cathcart had a tough time as he was played in the right-back position for the 83 minutes he was on the pitch. He was constantly troubled by Martial on the left flank.

Younes Kaboul: 6.5/10

Kaboul made a few tackles for his side but had a tough time trying to outclass the supremely talented Ibrahimovic. He could have done better in helping his side defend both goals, especially the second.

Sebastian Prodl: 6.5/10

Prodl, like his centre-back partner, had a torrid time defending the relentless Red Devils attack. His positioning was not very good on multiple occasions.

Miguel Britos: 6/10

Britos, who was played at left-back, was taken off at half-time after finding it difficult to handle the pace of the game.

Tom Cleverley: 6/10

Tom Cleverley returned to face his former club but did not have an impact on the match

The former United midfielder was forced to defend for much of the match and put in some tackles. He could not create much going forward.

Etienne Capoue: 5.5/10

Capoue did not have a good game and gave the ball away on a few occasions, his decision making letting him down.

M’Baye Niang: 6/10

Niang was one of the better players for Watford as he made decent use of the ball when he was in possession, dribbling past opponents and passing the ball well.

Mauro Zarate: 6/10

Zarate had a mixed game with good as well as bad moments. He drew a great save from de Gea from a well-taken free kick. He also lost possession of the ball on multiple occasions.

Jose Holebas: 6/10

Holebas, who is usually played on the left-back, had a more advanced role for a lot of the game. His shot in the first half came close to becoming the first goal as it narrowly missed.

Troy Deeney: 5.5/10

Deeney was isolated for much of the match and did not have a sight of goal a lot. He was not able to create a positive impact.

Substitutes

Daryl Janmaat: 5.5/10

Janmaat probably had the best chance to get a goal back for Watford with 20 minutes left. He blazed the ball over and had it gone in it might have made a difference.

Stefano Okaka: 6/10

Okaka came on for the last 15 minutes and had too little time to make any impact.

Isaac Success: NA

Success played only the last 7 minutes or so and could not do much in the time he had on the pitch.

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