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Manchester United return to Champions League spots 

Martial scoring the second goal
Martial scoring the second goal
Modified 24 Feb 2020

Sunday afternoon proved to be a return of Manchester United to familiar territory. By familiar territory, I don't mean Old Trafford but a scenario where the Red Devils were 2 goals up around the hour mark and their fans were relaxed rather than echoing sentiments across the stadium to attack.

Watford started expansively and looked the better team going forward in the opening quarter-hour. Manchester United took their time to get into the game and were aided when goalkeeper Ben Foster in what seemed like a brain freeze decided to charge from his line and smother Bruno Fernandes' run.

He ended up bringing the Portuguese international down and conceding a penalty which Bruno calmly converted to open his Manchester United goal tally.

Watford seemed to have equalized before VAR ruled it out thanks to a handball in the buildup. The game was still on the edge with only a goal separating the two before Manchester United sealed the game first with Martial and then with Greenwood.

Anthony Martial kept faith in his managers backing and came up with a magnificent finish. At times such a finish had it not worked out would have led to fans labeling him as lazy, but this is what Martial is all about.

His wonderful dink over Watford keeper Foster when all the promise in the move seemed to have fizzled out is what put daylight between United and the visitors. It also exemplified the major reason why the United faithful are frustrated at Martial's lean patches throughout the season.

Greenwood's thunderous shot in the 75th minute all but sealed the points for Manchester United and saw them move to 5th which this season (thanks to Manchester City's European ban) is part of the Champions League spots. Watford meanwhile remained rooted second from last in the relegation zone and points from safety.

Could this be a turning point for Manchester United who throughout the season have beaten the big teams but failed to back up those successes against teams from the lower half of the table? Only time will tell.

Published 24 Feb 2020, 00:23 IST
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