Ashley Young Nets Rare Brace as Manchester United Destroys, Then Holds Off Watford

Ashley Young enjoyed an unusual multi-goal game, and Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard scored too to help Manchester United to three points at Vicarage Road.
Publish date:

Manchester United thrashed Watford at Vicarage Road thanks to an Ashley Young brace and a strike from Anthony Martial inside the opening half an hour of the contest. Watford scored two late goals to put Jose Mourinho's side under some late pressure, but a Jesse Lingard wonder goal sealed the victory and points for the Red Devils.

The gap between Manchester United and Manchester City has now reduced to five points but Pep Guardiola's team can restore their eight-point lead against Southampton on Wednesday evening. 

Following a sluggish opening quarter of an hour from both sides the contest burst into life in the 19th minute when Ashley Young lashed a loose ball into the bottom left corner to give United a lead out of nothing. 

Just six minutes later Young and Manchester United had their second goal of the game, after Abdoulaye Doucoure fouled Paul Pogba 25 yards from Watford's goal. Young stepped up to take the resulting free kick and curled a stunning strike into the top left corner to double the visitors' advantage.

On the half hour, mark Anthony Martial made it three goals from three shots on target for the Red Devils. Romelu Lukaku played the Frenchman in on goal and Martial had no problem beating Heurelho Gomes to put the game to bed. 

Watford were very fortunate to reach halftime only three goals down after Gomes was forced into making a stunning double save, firstly from a fierce Lukaku shot and then a close-range Lingard effort on the rebound to deny Manchester United a four-goal lead at the break.

In the second half, Lukaku squandered a golden opportunity to score his ninth Premier League goal of the season after Marcus Rashford won the ball in the Watford penalty area. The England international squared it to his Belgian teammates, but Lukaku took an age to sort his feet out before eventually being dispossessed

The Hornets did pull back a consolation when Marcus Rojo mistimed a challenge on Roberto Pereyra in the United penalty box. Watford captain Troy Deeney calmly rolled the ball into the bottom left corner from 12 yards to give the home fans something to cheer about.

With just over five minutes plus stoppage time left to play, Carrillo whipped a pinpoint low cross into the path of Doucoure, who blasted the ball past a helpless David de Gea to put Manchester United under some late pressure. 

However, Mourinho's team couldn't have responded better to conceding a second goal. Following a quick counterattack Lingard weaved in between three Watford players before firing a low powerful strike past Gomes to seal the victory and three points for Manchester United. 

Jose Mourinho and his players will now turn their attention to this weekend's crucial fixture against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.