Manchester United 1 Watford 0 – Early McTominay header takes United through to next round

2020-21 FA Cup 3rd round report

2020-21 FA Cup 3rd round report: Manchester United vs Watford – Saturday, 9th January 2021.

Manchester United 1 Watford 0

Ole Solksjaer’s Red Devils narrowly beat Watford 1-0 at Old Trafford as they progressed to the 4th round of the 2020-21 FA Cup on Saturday night. With a busy week of matches against Burnley and Liverpool coming up, Solskjaer made plenty of changes to the side that went down to Manchester City in a midweek semi-final EFL Cup clash.

Not that it made any difference as the hosts were up by a goal early in the 4th minute when Scott McTominay sneaked in ahead of Watford left-back Adam Masina to meet a ball with a downward header that bounced in towards the roof of the net.

United made an aggressive start as Dan James forced goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann to tip his effort over the bar and Alex Telles saw his shot from the corner sail over. The Red Devils failed to kill the game off as Bachmann managed to deny Juan Mata just before half-time after he was sent through on goal by Donny van de Beek’s back heel.

The second half was a lackluster affair with the hosts wanting to protect their slender lead, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Nemanja Matic all of whom Solksjaer did not choose to start with, were introduced post interval but to little effect.

Xisco Munoz’s Watford looked dangerous from set-plays – something United are weak against – but they did little to trouble Dean Henderson as the hosts held on till the end of 90 minutes. The only two attempts of note the visitors made were when Joao Pedro’s header went straight to Henderson and Ken Sema’s effort was off target.

Mason Greenwood, Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard did little to press their claims for a regular starting slot in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as they showed glimpses of form but eventually faded. United will wait for the announcement fourth and fifth-round draws on Monday while Championship side Watford will focus on winning back promotion to next season’s Premier League.

Man United starting XI: Henderson (goal), Williams, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Telles, McTominay, Van de Beek, Mata, Lingard, James, Greenwood

Subs: Maguire (7), Matic (6), Martial (6), Rashford (6)

Watford starting XI: Bachmann (goal), Navarro, Sierralta, Troost-Ekong, Masina, Zinckernagel, Chalobah, Hughes, Sarr, Joao Pedro, Gray

Subs: Ngakia, Wilmot, Sema, Hungbo, Philips

Man of the match: Scot McTominay

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