Manchester United hand Watford first EPL defeat with goals from Lukaku and Smalling

Manchester United hand Watford first EPL defeat with goals from Lukaku and Smalling

- Romelu Lukaku opened scoring as United maintained their winning run

- Chris Smalling was on hand to increase the tally two minutes later

- Watford replied one goal in the second but ended up suffering their first defeat of the season

Two first half goals from Romelu Lukaku (35’ minute) and Chris Smalling (38’ minute) was all that Manchester United needed to continue the winning run in their EPL clash against Watford on Saturday, September 15.

The encounter at Vicarage Road saw United take the kick-off and immediately showed their intentions but Watford’s goalkeeper Foster was on hand to stop the Red Devils attack after Alexis Sanchez played a marvellous ball over the top, which Lukaku met after an explosion of pace, but the Watford goalie got down low and took away the ball from the striker.

On the second minute, Watford’s Doucoure tried his luck from the top of the area after a poor clearance from United’s Fellaini, but his goal effort flew wide.

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United were back in attack in the 6th when Sanchez exploited plenty of space in the opponent area to get forward, before picking out Ashley young on the left flank, but his intended cross for Lukaku was cut out by Foster.

On the 10th minute mark Holebas sniffed off another goal move from the Jose Mourinho tutored side after Jesse Lingard attempted bursting down the field for United, but Holebas tracked the England star’s run very well and took away the ball from his path before sending it back to his goalkeeper.

A similar episode happened at United’s end two minutes later as Hughes danced past Man United defence line - leaving Young rooted before going for goal, but again, he shot straight into the waiting hands of David De Gea.

United took over the initiative on the 13 minute after Frenchman Paul Pogba picked up the ball outside the area, and works him way into some space before releasing a shot, but his fierce drive went straight into the hands of Foster.

In the 16 minute, it was United that had their Spanish goalie to thank after a long ball forward from Doucoure caused real issues for the Red Devils defence line courtesy of Deeney touch to Pereyra in the vital area.

Fellaini looked to have the ball under control but the Belgian somehow lost the ball with a poor touch and it landed for Deeney, who hammered a wonderful strike from the top of the area, but De Gea leaped out to make the fantastic save to his from scoring.

Three minutes later, Deeney had another opportunity to put Watford ahead, but still failed to convert as scores stood at 0-0.

On the 24th minute Matic lifted a lovely ball into the area, Sanchez was on hand to receive the ball and he immediately turned and slotted home, but the offside flag was up and so his goal did not count.

Watford almost took the lead on the 30th minute but Fellaini was on hand to clear the lines.

However, with about 15 minutes to the end of the first stanza, Lukaku’s goal arrives off a free kick, which Young played to Fellaini on the left of the area. His cross to the other side was played back to Young at the top left corner by Smalling but his pass into the vital area was bundled home via Belgium’s forward stomach, with Watford players calling for a handball. At the end Holebas was yellow carded for his own protests by United lead the proceeding with a vital goal.

It could have been 2-0 on the 36th minute but another wonderful save from Foster off a Pogba fierce drive kept the scores at 1-0 in favour of the away side.

Manchester United hand Watford first EPL defeat as Lukaku, Smalling score

Manchester United hand Watford first EPL defeat as Lukaku, Smalling score
Source: Getty Images

Foster could not stop a superb finish from Smalling moment later. The ball was sent into the area by the head of Fellaini before Smalling hooks the ball over his own head to send it past Foster at a very close range.

That performance ensured Untied went two goals up in three minutes and maintained the status quo till the end of the first 45 minutes.

In the second stanza, it was a fourth and back affair as the visitors tried to keep hold of their win but Watford were determined, to get back to level terms.

In the 65th minute the Hornets pulled one back through Andre Gray to ensure that it was battle royal for the remaining 25 minutes of the contest.

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Although no further goal was scored, a total of five yellow cards were splashed out by referee Mike Dean including a 90th minute read card, to United’s midfielder Nemanja Matic as the Red Devils cruised to a hard-fought 2-1 win at Vicarage Road.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously had reported that Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku netted a first half brace in the 27th minutes and 44th minute for Manchester United in the must-win away game against Burnley on Sunday, September 1, 2018 to hand the Old Trafford dwellers full match points at Turf Moor.

The Jose Mourinho tutored-side dominated proceedings in every area of the pitch and the Portuguese boss would have been disappointed to have gone in just one goal ahead.

On the 27th minute Manchester United knocked the ball around the edge of the Burnley box with none of their defenders engaging the man with possession.

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