More misery was heaped on beleaguered Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Saturday as Watford sealed a deserved Premier League victory in front of a packed Vicarage Road.
In an electrifying first half, United were unable to deal with the high pressing of a well organised Hornets side and quickly found themselves in danger when Scott McTominay bundled forward Joshua King inside the box.
But United goalkeeper David de Gea came to the rescue as the Spaniard saved not one, but two Ismaila Sarr penalties. Each of the Senegal winger’s efforts were tame but Kiko Femenia managed to turn in the rebound from the first spot-kick, only for the goal to be ruled out because of player encroachment from both teams.
It was not long, however, before Sarr rectified his penalty misses by sending a right-footed shot across De Gea’s goal to double Watford’s lead after King had opened the scoring thanks to Emmanuel Dennis’ assist.
A second-half uprising saw forgotten man Donny van de Beek – brought on to replace McTominay, who received a yellow card – put the ball in the net from Cristiano Ronaldo’s knockdown following England winger Jadon Sancho’s searching cross.
But the nightmare continued for Solskjaer as Harry Maguire was booked twice in seven minutes and sent off.
A slither of hope looked to have arrived on 77 minutes when the lively Van de Beek found Ronaldo with a through-ball but the Portugal captain’s goal was ruled out for offside.
In the dying moments of the game, to the delight of the loud Watford faithful, Joao Pedro and Dennis added a third and fourth for Watford to pile more heartbreak on the travelling United supporters.
The defeat means United have tumbled down the table to seventh on 17 points, while Claudio Ranieri’s side are only four points behind them in 16th.
Source: Modern Ghana