Manchester United gets win at Watford thanks to late goal
WATFORD, England (AP) — Watford striker Troy Deeney scored a 90th-minute own goal, soon after converting an equalizing penalty, to gift Manchester United a 2-1 win in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Bastian Schweinsteiger's shot across the face of the Watford goal was turned into the net by Deeney as he slid in to make a block.
Deeney had equalized from the spot in the 86th minute after United substitute Marcos Rojo fouled Odion Ighalo, for the first goal United had conceded in 632 minutes in all competitions.
Back in United's team after a spell out of favor, Netherlands winger Memphis Depay — playing as an emergency forward to solve the side's striker shortage — put the visitors in front in the 11th by cushioning a left-footed volley into the top corner from Ander Herrera's right-wing cross.
United manager Louis van Gaal said Friday he had been expecting more this season from Depay after his high-profile move from PSV Eindhoven last offseason. After a dip in form, Depay had lost his starting place for club and country, and hadn't started a significant game for United since Oct. 4.
But with Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and makeshift striker Marouane Fellaini all injured or ill and youngster James Wilson not match fit, Van Gaal played Depay through the middle. The Dutchman looked lively and took his first chance well, proving more alert than Watford's defenders to Herrera's first-time cross and finding the top corner.
Herrera went off soon after because of an apparent hamstring strain and was replaced by Rojo, who slotted in at center back as Van Gaal switched to a 3-5-2 formation.
Watford was poor in the first half but improved after the break, with United goalkeeper David De Gea saving well from Deeney, twice, and Almen Abdi. But he couldn't keep out Deeney's penalty, conceded when Rojo clipped the ankle of Ighalo as the striker attempted a turn.
Deeney celebrated wildly but held his head in his hands minutes later after his own goal, which kept United in touch with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the standings.
Players from both teams stood together in the center circle as the French national anthem was played before kickoff at Vicarage Road, in honor of the victims of the Paris attacks last week that killed 130 people. Two Frenchmen, United's Morgan Schneiderlin and Watford's Etienne Capoue, played in the match.
Fans held up French flags and scarves as "La Marseillaise" was played.