Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Night Is Young with a Double to Set United Flying

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Night Is Young with a Double to Set United Flying

Article excerpt

UNITED supporters heartily chanted Eric Cantona's name at Vicarage Road, but that was never going to be an endorsement of the Frenchman's recent comments. Cantona admitted he would prefer to have Pep Guardiola in the Old Trafford dugout than Jose Mourinho. Not on this showing.

"Jose's playing the way United should," the Reds roared before the half-hour mark at Watford. The Reds had exhibited the kind of ruthless football their manager has pined for in recent weeks.

To quote one of Ferguson's adages, they didn't make it easy for themselves, though. Frivolous finishing at 3-0 and a pedestrian tempo encouraged Watford to rally with two goals in the last 15 minutes. Then Jesse Lingard ignored Romelu Lukaku and went solo to score a goal as majestic as one of Cantona's.

The night really did belong to Ashley Young, though. The dubious goals panel denied Young United's winner against Brighton so the converted full-back walloped two in at his old ground five minutes apart.

United kind of football their has Samuel The 32-year-old firstly rifled an instinctive strike from just outside the corner of the area before bending it like Beckham from a direct free-kick.

It was Young's first two-goal performance for United since Tottenham away in March 2012, and his stock is higher than it was in his debut season under Ferguson, himself serenaded by the raucous travelling supporters.

Five Premier League clubs enquired about Young this year and he came closer to leaving United than many supporters thought. Without him, their attack would be lopsided and he is an early contender for the club's player of the year. No-one else at the Reds has improved as much as he has since Ferguson headed upstairs.

United's incumbent manager was championed ardently by the 2,158 followers who watched their team go in at half-time 3-0 up.

United recorded the same interval scoreline at CSKA Moscow in September but Watford was a much more stirring statement. The Hornets put three past Liverpool, beat Arsenal and scored twice at Chelsea. United made them look like relegation fodder.

Mourinho had to sternly advise Martial and Romelu Lukaku during the first half. …

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