Home Sports Manchester United 1-0 Watford: Red Devils player ratings as Scott McTominay seals fourth-round spot | FA Cup 2020-21

Manchester United 1-0 Watford: Red Devils player ratings as Scott McTominay seals fourth-round spot | FA Cup 2020-21

Manchester United beat Watford 1-0 in their FA Cup third-round clash

Scott McTominay’s early header proved to be the only goal of the game as Manchester United began their FA Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Captaining the Red Devils for the first time, McTominay guided home an Alex Telles corner in the 5th minute to send his side into the lead. It was one which they preserved with minimum fuss to seal progression into the next round of the competition.

The visitors gave a good account of themselves, forcing United goalkeeper Dean Henderson into making a couple of crucial saves. However, they could not make the most of the chances they created.

In fact, it was United who should have extended their lead, with Juan Mata and Eric Bailly passing up extremely presentable opportunities in the first half. At the same time, Marcus Rashford shot tamely straight at the Watford ‘keeper after a dazzling run into the second box.

Ultimately, McTominay’s goal proved to be the difference between the two sides, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men seeing out the narrow 1-0 win. Here are the player ratings for the Red Devils following their FA Cup win over Watford.

Manchester United Player Ratings vs. Watford

Dean Henderson: 6/10

A well-deserved clean sheet for Henderson on his first FA Cup outing for Manchester United
A well-deserved clean sheet for Henderson on his first FA Cup outing for Manchester United

An eventful first half saw Henderson rush off his line to make several vital interceptions to keep Watford at bay.

However, the Englishman wasn’t tested as much after things calmed down in the second half and displayed assured handling in what little he had to do.

Brandon Williams: 5/10

After breaking into the first team last season, Williams has found playing time hard to come by this time around. But he was handed a rare start at right-back for this encounter.

The youngster was solid in defense, making himself hard to get past, but did not offer much as an attacking threat as he rarely got forward with much intent. 

Eric Bailly: 5/10

A solid first half from Manchester United’s in-form Ivorian defender was cruelly cut short on the stroke of half time. A nasty collision with his own goalkeeper forced him to be substituted with a neck injury.

Axel Tuanzebe: 5/10

After a couple of nervy moments in the first half, the young defender grew into the game and closed it out with a solid showing.

Despite having to start each half with a different center-back partner, Tuanzebe was not distracted and he coped well with the unfortunate circumstances.

Alex Telles: 6/10

The Brazilian showcased his attacking capabilities by regularly getting forward down the left. He grabbed the assist for McTominay’s opener with a precise delivery from a corner.

However, things were not smooth for Telles as he was given a tough time by Ismaila Sarr in the first half. He was forced into making a couple of ill-judged tackles in dangerous positions, and even picked up a booking in the second half.

Scott McTominay: 7/10

A captain
A captain’s performance from matchwinner Scott McTominay for Manchester United

Handed the captain’s armband at the start of the game, McTominay led by example as he opened the scoring with a powerful header in the fifth minute.

The Scotsman backed up his offensive contribution with a physical display in midfield, making several crucial interceptions and clearances. A couple of free-kicks conceded unnecessarily were the only blemishes on his record.

Donny van de Beek: 7/10

The Dutchman showed exactly why there had been such a clamor for him to get more playing time for Manchester United with a polished display in the heart of the midfield.

Displaying his accurate passing, clever running, and intuitive positioning, Van de Beek was one of Manchester United’s best players on the pitch.

Juan Mata: 7/10

The diminutive Spaniard was at his creative best in this game, picking up several clever positions across the park.

Mata showcased excellent link-up play as he got involved in several eye-catching passing moves throughout. He should have extended Manchester United’s lead in the first half after being superbly set up by van de Beek.

Jesse Lingard: 6/10

Considering the lack of minutes in the tank for Lingard, the England international had a bright start to the game and looked lively in the first half, getting involved in most of Manchester United’s attacks.

However, his lack of match fitness became more evident as the game wore on. Lingard faded away in the second half before being replaced by Matic for the final 10 minutes.

Daniel James: 6/10

It was a bright showing for the pacy Welshman, who burst forward well down Manchester United’s left and got in several promising positions. He came close to scoring with a couple of decent efforts on target.

He was replaced by Rashford midway through the second half. 

Mason Greenwood: 5/10

Leading the line for Manchester United, which some may consider being his ideal position, Greenwood endured a frustrating outing. He struggled to get involved in his side’s attacking play after looking bright in the opening minutes.

He was taken off for Martial in the 69th minute.


Harry Maguire: 5/10

Usually an ever-present for the side, Maguire stepped seamlessly into the Manchester United defense. He replaced the stricken Eric Bailly on the stroke of half time and delivered a composed performance.

Marcus Rashford: 5/10

He displayed his mesmerizing dribbling ability by embarking on a couple of thrilling runs after coming on as a second-half substitute. However, he would have been disappointed by his lack of end product.

Anthony Martial: 5/10

He took over center-forward duties from Greenwood in the second half and showed good hold-up play as Manchester United looked to slow the game’s pace and see the 1-0 win.

Nemanja Matic: 5/10

He was brought on in the final 10 minutes to help tighten things up at the back for Manchester United, the experienced midfielder helped his side see out the game with little incident.

Published 10 Jan 2021, 05:51 IST

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