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Manchester United 1-0 Watford: Rashford first half goal secures win

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The Reds ended the league season with a routine win in Michael Carrick’s last appearance.

Manchester United v Watford - Premier League Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Manchester United signed off on the 2017-18 Premier League season with a routine 1-0 win over Watford on Sunday. Marcus Rashford scored the game’s only goal in the first half.

Jose Mourinho named a much-changed starting XI, with club captain Michael Carrick making his final appearance at Old Trafford as a player. In truth, Carrick was not the only member of the team who would have made his final appearance in a United shirt. Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind both made rare starts, and it would be a shock if either were still at United at the start of next season.

The Old Trafford crowd was in a jubilant mood, and the makeshift team at least tried to put on a show. United dominated much of the possession in the first half, and it was the man of the moment who instigated the opening goal. Carrick lofted a beautiful ball over the top, and Juan Mata cleverly held his run to beat the offside trap. Mata then squared for Rashford, who had the simple job of tapping the ball into the net.

Neither team created many clear-cut chances after that, although Sergio Romero was forced into a sharp save to deny a header from Richarlison.

The second half was played at the intensity one would expect in a dead rubber match. United threatened on occasion, but attacking moves repeatedly broke down in the final phase. With less than 10 minutes left, Carrick got the chance to be properly honored by the home crowd. The skipper was replaced by Paul Pogba and serenaded as he left the pitch for the final time.

With so many changes and so little at stake, there was not much to be learned from this performance, but United at least ended the league season with a win.