Mata celebrating after winner against Watford.
Mata celebrating after winner against Watford.

After their sensational win over Arsenal at the weekend, Manchester United see off a resolute Watford in much more prosaic fashion while Juan Mata claimed the game’s only goal in a 1-0 win for the home team. Here is how we have rated the Manchester United players.

David De Gea 7/10 – Excellent when called upon before the break to deny Watford when the match was still goalless, also distributed the ball well as always.

Guillermo Varela 6/10 – Never actually found his rhythm and was a bit conservative with his movement and passing in the early stages, though improved in the second half.

Daley Blind 4/10 – On a night when he was the most senior defender on the field, he passed out the ball from the back with shocking inaccuracy, endangering the defence on more than one occasion.

Marcos Rojo 6/10 – Somewhat a reasonable performance, where his distribution might have been better than this but his effectiveness in closing down his man eventually managed to keep a very good forward line at bay.

Tim Fosu-Mensah 6/10 – He prevented Odion Ighalo from scoring with an impressive slide tackle in the first half, he cleared the ball calmly from the back, and clattered into a great challenge with such force that his shinpad came off. Yet he was also reckless sometimes, bundling his man down for a yellow card and then being lucky enough to escape with a poor a clearance in injury time.

Morgan Schneiderlin 6/10 – A typical night, where his passing was not at its best but he provided some useful obstruction to a hard-pressing Watford midfield.

Ander Herrera 7/10 – Sharp, hard-working all the way, one of the few United players who repeatedly took the game to the visitors.

Juan Mata 8/10 – A fine performance from the stand-in skipper, with a stunning free-kick to claim all the three points. He orchestrated the game from the very start to finish with some clever reverse passes and turns into space which ultimately spread the play and even tackled back.

Anthony Martial 6/10 – He took a long time than expected to get into the match before missing two half-chances. However, it’s his elegant dribble that actually earned the match-winning free-kick for Mata. Clearly lacked match sharpness, but still remain dangerous.

Memphis Depay 6/10 – It was the important game for him, but some of his runs did not come off fruitful and his shooting was wayward. Although he made a defensive contribution in the late stages.

Marcus Rashford 8/10 – A performance of maturity for sure. He was not at all energetic in his pressing from the very first touch. He was rather judicious in his use of the ball, knowing when to lay off with a first-time pass to continue the speed of the counter-attack. A night when he proved that he is far more than a goalscorer.

Substitutes:

Jesse Lingard 7/10 – Replaced Herrera in the 77th minute, hard-working in the late stages, playing with high intensity and giving a solid defensive effort.

Matteo Darmian 5/10 – Replaced Rojo with 20 minutes to go. Lost his man as soon as he stepped in and then escaped a penalty award for holding back Sebastian Prodl.

DF Paddy McNair, (Not Rated) – Came on for Mata in the 89th minute and it was too late to contribute substantially to the match.