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Watford 1-2 Manchester United: Player Ratings

Player ratings from Manchester United's 2-1 win at Watford where Bastian Schweinsteiger's late intervention and Memphis's early goal were enough.

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David de Gea - 8

One excellent save from Almen Abdi's deflected shot kept United ahead towards the end of the match, and there was little that he could have done from the penalty. He dived the right way, but Troy Deeney's penalty was just behind him and too well hit. His consistency is remarkable, and his weaknesses are so slight as to be of little concern.

Ashley Young - 6

He was aggressive in attack, sending in plenty of crosses and taking on his opposite number for much of the match. His defensive work was solid too, but in neither respect was he exceptional. That's not a huge criticism, he was bought as a left winger and has now dutifully played every position on the flanks for Louis van Gaal without ever letting down the side. So it was again today.

Daley Blind - 6

At left-back he was a provider of crosses as United dominated the early stages in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and then moved back to a central defender in a 3-5-2. Watford had so little in terms of quality and numbers for their attack that the was largely untroubled. There was no great threat of strength or pace, and so he coped as well as could be hoped. His contribution to attacking play was fairly limited, with no traditional through ball for a Juan Mata run.

Phil Jones - 6

A 10/10 performance for most of the match as he managed not to die. A 0/10 performance after the injury. It didn't look terribly serious, but he's so brittle as to be unreliable. A long-term replacement is absolutely necessary.

Chris Smalling - 7

Resilient and a leader, dealing without difficulty in going from two in the middle to three, he was there to defend the high balls from Watford, and put in a foot when they attempted to play their way into the box. Again, Watford weren't any real threat, and it was only a mistake that allowed them to score.

Bastian Schweinsteiger - 7

Surprisingly, his passing was often wayward in the second half, and while he can usually dwell on the ball against the best sides and still find time to release it safely, on occasions he was pressed into errors. When United conceded he improved, and he took control of the attacks. On hand to squeeze in a late shot that Deeney took over the line for the winner, it's notable that on a pretty cold day, with Ander Herrera off with a muscle injury, Schweinsteiger was on hand to complete the full match. His fitness will be at risk if Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick aren't able to play for the next few weeks.

Morgan Schneiderlin - 6

An adept performance alongside Schweinsteiger, he ably ran about and kicked the right people at the right time, and tackled when that was the better option. He almost scored with a difficult volley from a tight angle, and his runs forward were much more common than they have been in the past under Van Gaal.

Ander Herrera - 7

Set up the goal for Memphis with an excellent first-time cross from deep, but then appeared to injure his hamstring. In the number 10 position with Juan Mata to his right, Jesse Lingard to his left and a striker who can run and control the ball ahead of him, he looks far better. United fans will have to hope his absence is brief and that the damage to his hamstring is only minor.

Jesse Lingard - 6

He missed an excellent chance to lob Heurelho Gomes to make it 2-0, but he was again a threatening presence on the left. He may not have the best ability, but his pace is essential on the wing, and he is showing that he is more than just a scrappy presence as he calms down. His shot across goal was the reason for Schweinsteiger's shot for the equaliser.

Juan Mata - 6

More of the same from dear old Juan. An experienced presence on the right wing, he, Young and Herrera were a dangerous combination on the right wing. He took a couple of knocks in the second half so the main achievement was not leaving injured.

Memphis - 7

His confidence was still high enough to take shots when the opportunities presented themselves. He dribbled, on occasion, excellently and deftly in from the left wing, and his passing and decision-making was clearly more assured than it has been in his most recent games. The goal was well taken, measured and accurately from a difficult opportunity. It has been clear that patience was required for Memphis as he struggled, but few would have predicted that an improved performance would have come in this position.


Marcos Rojo - 5

An entirely acceptable presence in defence until his absolutely clueless foul on Jude Ighalo. There was no danger, with his back to goal and other defenders closing in, but Rojo dragged him down and slid in from behind. The problem with Van Gaal's philosophy of keeping control when in a 1-0 lead is that the players are not good enough to keep a 1-0 lead for a great stretch of time, Rojo is one of the players who can't be trusted. Let's not forget, though, that Rojo would have been on the left flank had Van Gaal not changed to three at the back after the Herrera injury.

Paddy McNair - 6

McNair's return from injury saw him stride from deep a few times in support of the attack, and in defence he was able enough. It's hard to see him becoming anything other than a Northern Irish John O'Shea, but that is no bad thing.

Andreas Pereira - 6

He should, really, have been the first substitute in place of Herrera, but instead got a few minutes towards the end.