Watford 4-1 Man Utd: Hornets turn up the heat on under-pressure Ole

Watford have demolished Manchester United 4-1 at Vicarage Road to mount the pressure on under-fire Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Hornets manager Claudio Ranieri made three changes from the Watford side which lost 1-0 at Arsenal before the international break.

Imran Louza, Adam Masina and Tom Cleverley were included in the side while Juraj Kucka, Danny Rose and Ozan Tufan dropped out, although Kucka was suspended.

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Mason Greenwood was not included in Manchester United’s squad for their trip to Watford after he tested positive for Covid-19.

“Mason has got Covid unfortunately,” manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said in his pre-match interview at Vicarage Road.

Jadon Sancho came into the starting XI as one of three United changes.

Watford had an ideal chance to take the lead in the sixth minute when referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot after Scott McTominay bundled Joshua King over in the box with a clumsy challenge.

Ismaila Sarr stepped up to take the penalty and his effort was saved by David De Gea but Kiko Femenia followed up to fire in the rebound.

However, VAR ordered the penalty be retaken after ruling that Femenia was in the area when the first kick was taken.

Sarr stepped up to take the second one and De Gea dived low to make a second save, only this time the Manchester United players were able to get back and clear the ball out for a corner to keep the game goalless.

Just before the half hour mark, Watford took a deserved lead after dominating possession for the majority of the opening period.

King, who had almost given his side the lead before being brought down by McTominay for the penalty, tapped home a cross from Emmanuel Dennis.

Just moments before the half-time break Sarr made up for his earlier penalty misses to double his side’s lead.

The 23-year-old scored his fifth goal of the season with a low drive from the edge of the box past De Gea.

In a bid to change the course of the game, Solskjaer made two changes at half time.

The United boss brought on Donny Van De Beek for his sixth appearance of the season and Anthony Martial in place of McTominay and Marcus Rashford.

United pulled one back when Van De Beek headed the ball past Ben Foster into the net.

A cross from the right was headed back across goal by Cristiano Ronaldo, with Van De Beek diving in at the far post to head home.

Manchester United’s hopes of an equaliser were dealt a blow when captain Harry Maguire was sent off for a scissor-like challenge on Tom Cleverley.

Maguire was already on a yellow card when he made the clumsy challenge, with referee Moss showing him a second yellow to leave the visitors with 10 men for the final 20 minutes of the match.

Substitute Joao Pedro secured all three points for the Hornets, the Brazilian had just had a shot saved when he was found by Emmanuel Dennis before firing through De Gea’s legs in added time.

The provider turned goalscorer for Watford’s fourth of the afternoon, after capitalising on a long ball from goalkeeper Foster.

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