Man United brought to their knees by Watford

Watford striker Troy Deeney celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot in stoppage time as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea reflects on conceding three goals at Vicarage Road.
Watford striker Troy Deeney celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot in stoppage time as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea reflects on conceding three goals at Vicarage Road.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES
Manchester United forward Anthony Martial (right) is challenged by Watford defender Miguel Britos (centre) before Etienne Capoue (not pictured) scores the opener. United manager Jose Mourinho claims United should have been awarded a free kick for the
Manchester United forward Anthony Martial (right) is challenged by Watford defender Miguel Britos (centre) before Etienne Capoue (not pictured) scores the opener. United manager Jose Mourinho claims United should have been awarded a free kick for the foul on Martial.PHOTO: REUTERS

Jose loses 3 straight games for first time in 14 years as feel-good factor evaporates

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Watford 3

Manchester United 1

LONDON • Watford piled on the misery for Jose Mourinho as Manchester United crashed to a third successive defeat in an embarrassing 1-3 English Premier League loss at Vicarage Road yesterday.

Mourinho's side were rocked by Etienne Capoue's first-half opener and, although Marcus Rashford equalised after the break, United capitulated in the closing stages.

  • THREE FACTORS FOR UNITED'S DEFEAT

  • 1. THE TEAM

    Jose Mourinho says: The first factor depends on ourselves, it relates to our individual mistakes and collective mistakes as individual players and as a team. We have to improve, it is in our hands.

    2. THE OFFICIATING

    The second factor is the referee and I can't control their mistakes. The story of the game is the result and not the ridiculous situation of the first goal.

    3. THE RUB OF THE GREEN

    The third factor is luck, we didn't have it. We were the best team when we lost. Heurelho Gomes made a phenomenal save from a Zlatan Ibrahimovic header.

Juan Camilo Zuniga restored Watford's lead with seven minutes left before Troy Deeney's penalty condemned Mourinho to a third consecutive defeat for the first time since he was in charge at Porto in 2002.

It was also the first time United had lost three in a row since Louis van Gaal presided over four successive defeats in December last year.

Adding to the indignity for United, it was their first loss in 30 years against Watford, who ended a run of 11 successive defeats against the English giants.

United are already lagging six points behind rivals and Premier League leaders Manchester City and the feel-good factor following the three wins that marked the start of the Mourinho era has been completely erased.

After losing to City in the Premier League, Feyenoord in the Europa League and now Watford over the last week, the size of the task facing Mourinho as he rebuilds United has been laid bare.

  • ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

  • SATURDAY

    Everton 3 Middlesbrough 1

    YESTERDAY

    Watford 3 Man United 1

    Crystal Palace 4 Stoke 1

    Southampton 1 Swansea 0

    Tottenham 1 Sunderland 0

The Portuguese was clearly unhappy with Watford's first goal, in which Anthony Martial appeared to be fouled just outside United's box before Daryl Janmaat picked out the unmarked Capoue to drill past David de Gea.

Referee Michael Oliver did not bat an eyelid to the incident.

"I reflect on three factors from the match, but only one of them I can improve," Mourinho said after the match.

"The first factor depends on ourselves, it relates to our individual mistakes and collective mistakes as individual players and as a team. We have to improve, it is in our hands.

"The second factor is the referee and I can't control their mistakes. The story of the game is the result and not the ridiculous situation of the first goal.

"The third factor is luck, we didn't have it. We were the best team when we lost. Heurelho Gomes made a phenomenal save from a Zlatan Ibrahimovic header."

Watford captain Deeney, however, feels that his side deserves more credit because they were the better team.

"I am not surprised by how we played. We pressed well, condensed the space and were tough in the tackle," said the striker.

"We have some really good quality players. I thought we were the better side and had a lot of chances, even when they scored we showed what we are made of and came again."

It was a win that Watford probably deserved.

They fought till the end and when Isaac Success came on as a late substitute - helping Zuniga to win the penalty which Deeney converted - it was meant to be a successful day for Watford.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2016, with the headline 'Man United brought to their knees by Watford'. Print Edition | Subscribe