Manchester United have narrowly avoided a catastrophe as they held on to claim a 4-1 victory over Watford away from home.
Ashley Young opened the scoring with a stinging half volley from the edge of the area, unleashing his effort into the bottom left corner.
Young soon had two to his name when he struck a stunning free-kick from distance into the top corner.
Anthony Martial made it three just after the half an hour mark, after Jesse Lingard’s desperate lunge for the ball fell to his feet before the Frenchman curled the ball into the bottom corner.
Troy Deeney pulled one back for the hosts from the penalty spot after Marcos Rojo fouled Roberto Pereyra.
Abdoulaye Doucoure pulled the margin back to one with a clever outside foot of the injury before Lingard gave United a two-goal buffer once again after a dazzling run from inside his own half.
Relief for Manchester United
With a three goal lead at half-time, United looked set to cruise towards the three points and began looking ahead to the weekend’s clash with Arsenal. Jose Mourinho’s decision to have his side sit back in the second half almost proved costly as the Hornets launched a spirited comeback.
Although they did elect to sit back, United had their chances to add to their half-time lead prior to Watford’s two goals with Romelu Lukaku missing a big chance after an error from Adrian Mariappa.
But in the end it was United won claimed maximum points from the first of three difficult fixtures awaiting them.
Watford demonstrate why they are on the up
Despite trailing by three at the break, Marco Silva’s side by no means deserved to be behind by so many after an impressive start to the game. In the early stages of the contest, the home side looked most likely to find the back of the net as United made a sluggish start on their travels.
One thing that has never wavered from Watford is their spirit and that was once again on show as they worked their way back into the contest.
With Tottenham at home to come on the weekend, Silva’s side will be confident of taking another North London scalp after defeating Arsenal earlier in the season.
Injury woes for both sides
Perhaps the biggest woe comes for United, after Nemanja Matic was forced off the pitch early in the second half after appearing to grab at his groin. Depending on the severity of the injury, Mourinho could well have a major problem on his hands heading into the Arsenal and Manchester City fixtures.
Since arriving in the summer, Matic has simply been outstanding and his loss would signal the absence of one of United’s most important players.
Watford have injury troubles of their own with Will Hughes leaving the pitch with a hamstring injury. His injury comes as a major blow after the midfielder was beginning to find his feet in the Premier League.