July 7, 2022

Premier League, 12th day – Manchester United beaten on the lawn of promoted Watford (4-1), Ronaldo mute, Maguire excluded

The Red Devils got stung! Humiliated by the promoted Watford (4-1), 17th in the Premier League, on Saturday afternoon, Manchester United completely missed the opportunity to hang on to the Top 5. Joshua King, Ismaila Sarr, Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis did exploded the Mancuniens, who had reduced the gap after returning from the locker room by Donny van de Beek.

A humiliation. There is no other word. Watford’s “bees” crushed Manchester United at Vicarage Road, and there should be no surprise in this result. The Red Devils were non-existent in the first period. At half-time, the gap on the scoreboard could have been greater if David de Gea had not released the two penalty attempts from Ismaïla Sarr (11th).

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While we imagined him at the lowest morally after this double failure, the Senegalese obtained the forgiveness of the Watford supporters by scoring the goal of the break with a beautiful cross strike (2-0, 44th). His team had taken the lead in the game shortly before the hour mark thanks to Joshua King (1-0, 28th). Triple scorer against Everton a month ago, the Norwegian striker was poison for the defense of Mancun (24th, 41st, 53rd).

Van de Beek, the only cleared

Back to the wall and more than ever threatened, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer began two substitutions at the break. Choices paying off since Anthony Martial launched the decisive action transformed by Donny van de Beek, after a service from Cristiano Ronaldo (2-1, 50th). The Dutch midfielder, recruited for 39 million euros from Ajax in the summer of 2020, had played just 16 minutes in the Premier League this season. His entry transfigured the game of his team, who then turned their heads upside down and seemed to have the necessary forces to snatch, at a minimum, a draw against the promoted. Hope was maintained until the red card of Harry Maguire (69th), penalized for a second stupid fault, following a judgment error.

At 10 against 11, Manchester United had opportunities but Cristiano Ronaldo (72nd, 78th) and Bruno Fernandes (79th) were having a bad day. The quadruple Golden Ball will long mull over his failed face-to-face with Ben Foster (58th). And while a fifth defeat in the league loomed (the fourth in the last five meetings), the Red Devils let go and conceded two new goals. The first by Joao Pedro, a very promising 20-year-old Brazilian center-forward, opened his counter with a powerful strike low to the ground (90th + 3). The second by Emmanuel Dennis (90th + 6), to put an end to the hell experienced by Manchester United.

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