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Manchester United progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable victory over Watford on Saturday evening. Scott McTominay gave the Red Devils an early advantage with a headed finish inside five minutes before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side held on to put themselves into the hat for the next round.
The Norwegian boss made plenty of changes to his team to face the Championship side, with the likes of Jesse Lingard and Brandon Williams receiving first-team opportunities.
Express Sport brings you the ratings for every United player that featured in Saturday’s encounter.
GK: Dean Henderson – 7
Henderson produced another solid performance between the sticks for United.
He pulled off some fine saves when called upon, doing enough to claim his fifth clean sheet in nine appearances this season.
The England stopper’s ambitions of starting in the Premier League every week will not have been harmed one bit by Saturday’s effort.
RB: Brandon Williams – 6
Young defender Williams was handed a rare start by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer amid speculation that he could leave the club on loan this month.
He looked a little rusty at times, having not featured for the first-team since the beginning of December, but did enough to prevent Watford from having too much joy down their left-hand side.
The 20-year-old looked to be struggling with a knee problem during the early stages of the second half but recovered to complete the match.
CB: Eric Bailly – 6
Bailly came close to allowing Watford to equalise with 16 minutes played when he lost the run of Adam Masina, who failed to find the back of the net with the resulting shot.
However, he recovered well to provide some positive contributions at the back.
Unfortunately, his afternoon was cut short on the stroke of half-time after he was clattered by the outstretched Henderson and replaced by Harry Maguire, with Solskjaer not looking to take any risks amid concerns of a head injury.
CB: Axel Tuanzebe – 6
Tuanzebe was responsible for a crucial goal-line clearance from the situation that stemmed from Bailly’s error early on.
United’s defence did come under pressure from Watford at times throughout the match, but the former Aston Villa loanee stood firm and helped his side to their third clean sheet in six matches.
Ultimately, it was an unremarkable but effective performance from the 23-year-old.
LB: Alex Telles – 7
Telles provided the assist for McTominay’s goal, swinging in the corner that found the head of the Scottish midfielder.
The Brazilian played fairly well altogether, producing a number of important contributions at the back as well as in helping United move the ball forward.
He will be hoping for more minutes during the second half of the campaign with Luke Shaw having mostly been preferred so far on the left side of defence.
CM: Scott McTominay – 8
McTominay opened the scoring early on with a bouncing header made possible by an intelligent darting run to shake off his marker.
He wore the armband until Maguire’s introduction and was arguably his side’s best player, giving as much in defence as he did in attack.
It was a real captain’s performance and a showing that United fans can be proud of.
CM: Donny van de Beek – 7
The Dutchman was at the heart of proceedings for United going forward, keeping things ticking in the middle of the park and starting attacks from deep.
His qualities on the ball were highlighted on the occasions that he ventured further up the pitch with a number of cute flicked passes showing off his creativity and impressive vision.
He will be hoping that he did enough to stake a claim for a regular starting spot, with the midfielder having been left on the bench in United’s last three Premier League matches.
AM: Jesse Lingard – 5
Lingard is yet to make a Premier League appearance so far this season but was selected to start against the Hornets.
He was involved in much of his side’s attacking play but did little to stand out when compared to McTominay and Van de Beek behind him.
The former England midfielder’s effort could not be criticised but ultimately he lacked an effective end product.
RW: Juan Mata – 6
Mata produced a decent performance on the right flank, showing attacking promise during United’s quiet spells during the second half.
He wasted a good chance to put his side two goals up shortly before the interval, with the Spaniard seeing a close-range effort saved well by Daniel Bachmann.
The former Chelsea man did the basics right but, like many of his teammates, also did little to stand out.
LW: Daniel James – 6
The Welshman made a promising start to the match, drifting into the area and stinging the palms of Bachmann early on with a fierce strike.
However, his influence on proceedings tailed off as the clock ticked down.
James has impressed in recent weeks but struggled to make his mark during Saturday’s fixture amid speculation that he could be set to depart Old Trafford on loan before the end of the month.
ST: Mason Greenwood – 5
Greenwood was anonymous for large parts of the game, though this was largely down to Watford finding success in their efforts to stop United from playing after the opening 20 minutes.
The youngster was not helped much by the likes of James and Lingard, who also had relatively quiet games, behind him.
His best chance in front of goal came just before the hour mark when a tame effort from the edge of the box was easily collected by Bachmann in the Watford goal.
Man Utd substitutes:
Harry Maguire (Bailly 45+) – 6
Marcus Rashford (James 68) – 7
Anthony Martial (Greenwood 68) – 6
Nemanja Matic (Lingard 80) – n/a
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