Watford compounded the misery of Manchester United Sunday afternoon, leaving Coach Jose Mourinho searching for a winning formula for his team after recording once again another loss Vicarage Road in London.
This was the third loss for the team in one week. First they were beaten at home by Manchester City and then they lost the first match of Europa league to less fancied Feyenoord.
And Sunday afternoon after the 1-3 loss to Watford, Mourinho will surely need a reality check of the team that seemed to hold much promise with the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and world’s most expensive player, Paul Pogba at the start of the season.
“I’m always concerned when we don’t get the result we want,” Mourihno told MUTV.
According to the match report by www.premierleague.com, late goals by Juan Zuniga and Troy Deeney helped Watford achieve the victory, their first in 30 years over Manchester United at Vicarage Road.
Zuniga had not even been on the pitch for a minute when he was picked out by Roberto Pereyra with seven minutes remaining to restore Watford’s lead after Marcus Rashford had cancelled out Etienne Capoue’s first-half opener. And Troy Deeney provided the gloss to the scoreline with a stoppage-time penalty.
Watford started strongly and might have taken the lead 12 minutes in when Odion Ighalo missed an open goal when the ball fell to him on the edge of the area when David De Gea and Chris Smalling got in each other’s way when attempting to deal with from Sebastian Prodl’s high ball.
De Gea then atoned for his error with a superb stop from a thumping Deeney header after the striker had beaten Chris Smalling to Daryl Janmaat’s 16th-minute cross.
United appeared to have weathered the early storm and Zlatan Ibrahimovic put a presentable chance wide midway through the first half after Marcus Rashford broke down the right and picked him out with a wonderful square pass.
Paul Pogba was also unfortunate to see his dipping long-range drive rebound off the crossbar on the half-hour mark with Heurelho Gomes beaten all ends up.
The Hornets took the lead on 34 minutes after Miguel Britos and Daryl Janmaat combined to dispossess Anthony Martial and the defender cut the ball back for Capoue to score his fourth goal of the season.
United were level on 62 minutes when Ibrahimovic surged forward from deep, played a one-two with Rashford and narrowly missed the striker with a clipped cross. However, Valon Behrami could only deflect the ball back into Rashford’s path and the 18-year-old made no mistake from close range.
Jose Mourinho’s men grew in confidence as the match wore on with Ibrahimovic coming close to giving his side the lead only for his towering header to be tipped wide by a fingertip save from Gomes.
But it was Watford and Zuniga, who struck next, Pereyra finding space down the right to cut the ball back to the substitute to score with his first touch of the match.
Deeney then made it 3-1 with a powerful spot-kick after Zuniga had been felled by Marouane Fellaini.
Mourinho’s view on Watford loss:
Was it a foul by Miguel Britos in the build-up to Watford’s opening goal?
“That’s an obvious situation. I think there is no debate, no controversy. I think that is an obvious situation, like it was obvious last week against Man City but it’s something I don’t control and I cannot even be critical of. In the eyes of everyone, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Manchester United fan or a Watford fan or whatever, it was obvious.”
Out of luck
“I think in the first half, for about 25 to 30 minutes, we didn’t play well and that is something we can control, we can improve and we can work on it. The referee and linesman’s mistake is not under my control. I can’t do anything to improve it and, in the second half, we were much better. We got the equaliser and, after that, we were the team [pushing for a winner]. [Heurelho] Gomes makes a phenomenal save and the luck is against us, something we cannot control.”
Looking likelier victors
“We had a strong period where we showed intensity, quality and desire. There was a creation of opportunities – the goal, the almost goal when it was a great save by the opponent. We had that period where, in the stadium, everyone was thinking about Manchester United going on to score a goal and win the game.”