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Watford v Manchester United Live Commentary, 22/12/2019

2 - 0
I. Sarr (50)
T. Deeney (54 pen)
Vicarage Road


Thanks for joining our commentary this afternoon. Until next time, goodbye.
Watford will look to build on their performance away to Sheffield United on Boxing Day, while Manchester United host Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
Watford secure a huge win over Manchester United to earn their first home victory of the campaign. It is only the second time the Hornets have beaten United in the Premier League and it has come at a perfect time for Nigel Pearson, moving his team to within six points of safety. A huge error from David de Gea gifted the home side the lead as he allowed Ismaila Sarr's volley to slip through his grasp to find the back of the net. Watford extended their advantage from the penalty spot after Sarr was brought down by Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Skipper Troy Deeney converted from 12 yards, which was enough to deliver the three points. United provided late pressure, but it was too little too late at point. Jesse Lingard, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford all missed decent opportunities, but it was another poor performance from Ole Gunnar Solskaer's men against a team in the lower depths of the Premier League.
90' + 3' WIDE! Mata lines up the free-kick, but he can only bend his strike harmlessly wide of the post. An effort to epitomise United's performance this afternoon.
C. Cathcart
Yellow Card
90' + 2' Cathcart stops Rashford advancing with the ball on the edge of the box with his hand after slipping. United have a free-kick in a dangerous position.
90' + 1' Martial cuts inside in a run from the left flank, but he can only scoop a tame effort straight at Foster.
90' There will be three minutes of added time.
90' SAVE! Martial flicks the ball over the top for Rashford. He produces a fine turn to strike on his left foot, but Foster remains big and denies the forward with his feet. A vital stop for the Hornets.
89' United are finding the home side tough to break down in the closing stages of the contest. The Hornets are holding firm and are on course for their first home win of the season.
I. Success
I. Sarr
87' Success replaces Sarr for the home side.
85' OVER! Pogba stretches the Watford defence with a ball over the top. Foster commits himself and is off his line as Greenwood takes possession. The teenager goes for the lob, but like Lingard in the first half, he sends his effort on to the roof of the net.
83' SAVE! Pogba is played through down the left flank by Martial and he opens up his body to shoot across goal. Foster spreads himself to produce a fine one-handed save before Cathcart sweeps away the rebound.
82' CHANCE! Mata swings a delivery to the back post for Maguire to attack from the corner. He rises above Cathcart, but he plants his header straight at Foster. Maguire has to do better with that opportunity.
81' Shaw sends a dangerous low cross into the middle and Cathcart has to take action to clear it behind. 
80' Pereyra is played into space down the left, but he cannot break away from Wan-Bissaka and the opening is quelled by the United defence.
78' Lingard has now gone over 25 hours since his last goal or assist in the Premier League, with his last goal involvement coming against Huddersfield on Boxing Day 2018 (one assist).
78' Pereyra takes a touch and then squares a pass to Femenia to strike at goal from distance. De Gea avoids another costly mistake as he gets down to make the stop, diving to his left.
R. Pereyra
E. Capoue
77' Capoue is withdrawn by Pearson as Pereyra comes on to the pitch.
76' Pogba lines up an ambitious strike from distance, but Foster makes a comfortable stop to catch the ball.
74' CHANCE! Deulofeu twists and turns his way past defenders in the United box. He sees his strike blocked by Wan-Bissaka, but he keeps the attack alive by feeding Deeney. The forward has space and time, but he drills his effort straight at Lindelof.
S. McTominay
Manchester United
72' Mata comes on to the pitch in United's final change to replace McTominay.
72' SAVE! Rashford drills his effort from the left flank towards the near post with power, but Foster watches it all the way to palm it clear of danger.
71' Pogba launches a long ball over the top to find Rashford and the forward wins a free-kick on the left flank in his duel with Kabasele.
N. Chalobah
A. Doucouré
69' Chalobah replaces Doucoure in the Watford midfield.
69' WIDE! Mariappa latches on to an offload from Deeney and he sends a low cross into the middle. Sarr tries to connect, but he slices his effort wide of the target.
68' Greenwood launches an ambitious effort at goal from an awkward angle and he can only lift his attempt over the bar.
67' BLOCK! Pogba releases Shaw down the left and he cuts the ball back to Martial to strike, but Doucoure and Cathcart are there to divert it behind for a corner.
P. Pogba
J. Lingard
Manchester United
64' Pogba makes his return to action and his team need him to make an impact. He replaces Lingard in the United midfield.
64' Watford break into space with ease as Deulofeu releases Sarr down the right flank, but his cutback into the middle is cleared by Maguire.
62' WIDE! Deulofeu's corner is cleared as far as Hughes on the edge of the box. He lines up an effort on the volley, but he slices his attempt well wide of the target.
62' McTominay does well at the back to stifle Deulofeu down the left flank, keeping the Watford winger in check to concede only a corner.
61' Capoue sends Sarr behind the United defence with an incisive pass, but the winger just mistimes his run and is caught offside.
60' Frustration boils over for Rashford as he loses the ball on the edge of the box and then trips Mariappa. He's not happy with the decision from referee Lee Mason.
59' De Gea has made an error leading directly to a goal in consecutive Premier League appearances for the second time in 2019, also doing so in April.
M. Greenwood
D. James
Manchester United
58' Greenwood comes on for James in the final third.
58' SAVE! Fred offloads to McTominay on the edge of the box and the midfielder pulls the trigger on his strike. Foster makes the save, but the rebound falls out to McTominay. However, he can only bundle his left-footed effort over the bar.
56' Deeney has scored in four of his five Premier League home games against Manchester United, with these four goals all coming via the penalty spot.
T. Deeney
Penalty Goal
54' GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! DEENEY HAMMERS HOME THE PENALTY!!! 2-0!!! The Hornets double their advantage as their skipper keeps his cool from 12 yards. He goes for power straight down the middle and he finds the back of the net, with De Gea guessing incorrectly diving to his right.
53' PENALTY TO WATFORD! Sarr is brought down by a loose challenge from Wan-Bissaka in the box and the referee points to the spot.
52' SAVE! Fred whips a delivery deep to the back post for the run of McTominay from the resulting free-kick, but he can only divert a tame effort into the hands of Foster.
A. Doucouré
Yellow Card
51' Doucoure brings down McTominay with a poor challenge and goes into the book.
C. Kabasele
50' Kabasele flicks on Hughes' cross towards Sarr and the winger's volley finds the net through De Gea's mistake.
I. Sarr
50' GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! A NIGHTMARE FOR DE GEA!!!! 1-0 WATFORD!!!! The Hornets take the lead as De Gea commits a huge blunder to allow Sarr's strike through his grasp. Hughes' delivery is headed on towards Sarr by Kabasele. He strikes his volley into the ground, but it should be a routine claim for the Spaniard. However, he allows it to travel through his gloves and into the net. A shocker for the United keeper.
48' Watford win a free-kick down the right flank that Hughes will whip into the box following a foul by McTominay on Sarr.
46' Neither side had a shot on target in the first half. In the 2019-20 season, Watford have mustered the fewest shots on target in the PL (55).
46' We're back underway at Vicarage Road.
United have lacked urgency in their play and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be concerned that they're struggling to carve out chances against another side in the lower depths of the table. The Red Devils have a point to prove in the second half and they need more Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford especially to bring them to life.
It's goalless at the break between Watford and Manchester United in their Premier League clash at Vicarage Road. United had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes when Jesse Lingard was played through on goal, but he sent his chip over bar. Other than that, opportunities have been few and far between. Abdoulaye Doucoure headed wide of the post for the Hornets, who have been resilient, although lacking in a clinical edge to expose the visitors. Better quality is needed from both sides in the second period.
45' There will be one minute of added time.
45' Watford work the ball neatly between Deeney, Doucoure and Sarr. The latter sends a low cross into the middle, but Deeney cannot make a clean connection under pressure from Lindelof.
42' Deulofeu sells Femenia short and it allows Lingard to pounce. However, his low cross is cut out with ease by Cathcart.
41' Rashford runs down the left on the counter for the visitors. He tries to hook the ball back towards Lingard, but the midfielder's flick hits off Cathcart and back onto himself before heading out for a goal-kick.
40' WIDE! Femenia lifts a dangerous cross into the middle for the late run of Doucoure. He glances a header at goal from 10 yards, but it drifts just wide of the target.
39' Doucoure almost latches on to a knockdown from Deeney, but Maguire is alert to stop him progressing further, clearing into touch.
L. Shaw
Yellow Card
Manchester United
38' Shaw pulls back Sarr on the charge down the right flank and he is booked. Watford have a free-kick in a decent position.
E. Capoue
Yellow Card
36' Capoue lunges into a challenge with Lingard and catches the midfielder. He goes into the book.
34' CHANCE! Lingard has to score. Martial releases his team-mate through on goal with only Foster to beat. The midfielder goes for the chip over the Watford keeper, but he lifts his effort over the bar and on to the roof of the net. There was no composure there from Lingard.
33' BLOCK! Lindelof comes out of the United line to block a strike from Deeney after Hughes did well to tee up the Hornets skipper on the edge of the box.
32' Not for the first time Martial is caught offside in the final third. Lingard tries to thread a pass to his team-mate in the right inside channel, but the Frenchman mistimes his run.
29' Sarr twists and turns down the right flank and draws a foul from Fred. The winger has seen a lot of the ball in the opening 30 minutes.
27' BLOCK! Deulofeu charges up field on a counter and he offloads to Deeney in space in the box. The striker pulls the trigger on his effort, but Shaw is there to make an important block.
26' There has not been a great deal of energy about United's performance thus far. Solskjaer's men have to force the issue here.
24' Lingard and Rashford combine to allow the former to shoot at goal, but his effort is deflected straight into the hands of Foster.
21' Shaw makes a good run down the left and he clips a dangerous cross back across the face of goal, but there's no red shirt there to convert the opening.
20' James draws a foul from Capoue in the middle of the park, but Pearson will not mind seeing his team be combative against the Red Devils.
18' Watford have the ball in the back of the net, but the referee blows before Doucoure converts for a foul against De Gea from the corner. Cathcart makes contact with the United keeper, forcing him to drop the ball.
17' Femenia intercepts a pass out from the back from Lindelof and releases Deulofeu into space. The winger sees his cross diverted behind by Wan-Bissaka covering on the slide.
15' Shaw slides a loose offload straight to Deeney in the final third. He runs at Maguire before offloading to Sarr. The winger goes for the cross, but Maguire makes the interception to clear the danger.
14' Sarr is fine to continue after treatment. Watford need a performance from their record signing today.
13' Sarr has space on the left and he tries to run at Wan-Bissaka, but the United defender wins the duel once again. The Watford man remains on the deck after the fact after being caught by a stray hand from Wan-Bissaka in his bid to regain possession.
12' Sarr battles James for the ball in the middle of the park and just wins the duel. He runs upfield and looks for Doucoure in the box, only to see his pass intercepted by Wan-Bissaka.
10' OFFSIDE! Wan-Bissaka threads a pass through to Martial, but the Frenchman is narrowly offside as he collects the ball in the box. 
8' Hughes tries to lift his cross from the set-piece towards the near post, but Martial is well placed to head away.
7' Watford win a corner down the left flank as Deeney knocks the ball off the legs of Shaw following good work by Sarr.
6' WIDE! Martial plays a neat flick down the right to release James into space. The Wales international raids down the flank and cuts the ball back to Martial on the edge of the box. He takes a touch before shooting, but he places his effort wide of the target.
5' Fred fails to find a United player in the penalty area with his delivery, allowing the Hornets to clear the danger.
5' Fred draws a challenge from Mariappa and he will whip the free-kick into the box himself from the left flank.
4' Martial almost releases the run of Lingard in the box, but Femenia gets across to clear ahead of the United midfielder.
1' We're underway at Vicarage Road.
Manchester United have won 11 of their 12 Premier League meetings with Watford (92%) – only against Wigan (15/16; 94%) do they have a higher win rate in the competition (min. 10 meetings).
Solskjaer has returned the majority of his starters for the clash this afternoon after allowing squad players to feature during the week against Colchester. Rashford, Martial, Maguire and Shaw are the only players to retain their spots. De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, McTominay, Fred, Lingard and James all return to the fold. Pogba makes his comeback a long injury lay-off on the bench this afternoon, appearing in the squad for the first time since September.
Watford are unchanged from their defeat at the hands of Liverpool as Pearson keeps faith in his starting line-up. Deeney continues to lead the line supported by Deulofeu, Sarr and Doucoure from deep. Cathcart and Kabasele anchor the back four, while Mariappa and Femenia remain in the full-back positions with Daryl Janmaat and Jose Holebase sidelined. Pereyra does return from injury on the bench for the Hornets.
MANCHESTER UNITED SUBS: Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Ashley Young, Sergio Romero, Mason Greenwood, Nemanja Matic.
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw; Scott McTominay, Fred; Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford; Anthony Martial.
WATFORD SUBS: Heurelho Gomes, Craig Dawson, Adam Masina, Nathaniel Chalobah, Andre Gray, Isaac Success, Roberto Pereyra.
WATFORD (4-2-3-1): Ben Foster; Adrian Mariappa, Christian Kabasele, Craig Cathcart, Kiko Femenia; Etienne Capoue, Will Hughes; Ismaila Sarr, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Gerard Deulofeu; Troy Deeney.
United's winning momentum was stymied by a 1-1 draw in the Premier League last time out against Everton. The Red Devils produced excellent performances to defeat Manchester City and Tottenham, but lacked a killer instinct against the Toffees. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men advanced to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup during the week by beating Colchester United. They're unbeaten in six matches in all competition, but United need to put teams of Watford's ilk to the sword to compete for a top-four spot this season,.
Watford enter the contest without a win in five matches and the Hornets are nine points adrift of safety, rooted to the bottom of the Premier League. Nigel Pearson has brought a semblance of resilience to the club, drawing his first game in charge against Crystal Palace before putting in a battling performance against Liverpool, suffering a 2-0 defeat at Anfield last time out. However, Watford need points sooner rather than later and a result against United could provide a spark to jolt a survival charge.
Good afternoon and welcome to the live commentary of the Premier League clash between Watford and Manchester United at Vicarage Road.