Sport

José Mourinho pulls out stats sheet to defend use of Marcus Rashford

José Mourinho pulls out stats sheet to defend use of Marcus Rashford

Two quickfire first-half goals had Mourinho, his staff and his players every bit as delirious as the travelling army of United fans, with the general mood around the camp a far cry from what it was just a few weeks ago.

Although the hosts initially looked bright, United finished the first half utterly dominant and 2-0 up thanks to Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling, whose goals were three minutes and 11 seconds apart. With this win we keep the same points as Spurs and Arsenal.

Pogba's relationship with manager Jose Mourinho is said to be on the rocks, with the French midfielder recently telling the press that there are things he can not talk about for fear of being fined.

That goal came after Rashford scored the opener in England's 2-1 loss to Spain in a UEFA Nations League game on Saturday.

"I think I can expect that Sunday I'm going to be highly criticised for not playing him because some of the boys are obsessed with me and some of them they have, I think, a problem with some compulsive lies", he said.

Mourinho opted for power rather than guile at Vicarage Road with a physically imposing midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic.

The Manchester United manager has not taken any chances with Luke Shaw's fitness so Ashley Young has been drafted into the starting eleven as left-back.

Watford went close to taking the lead after 15 minutes but David de Gea produced a superb save to deny Troy Deeney from the edge of the box.




The first half an hour was even as the two sides tested each other out -- United probed but the home side looked unsafe on the break, confidence coursing through the players on the back of four straight wins.

Pogba nearly got the third goal for Mourinho's men in first half stoppage ime with a chance at the back post but Foster kept the scoreline respectable with a brilliant save.

The Frenchman has failed to live up to Mourinho's high expectations at United.

Started the game positively, moving the ball through to midfield on several occasions, but his positioning still has to improve.

Pogba has refused to shut down talk of a move away from Old Trafford, saying during the global break "who knows what will happen in the next few months".

"Paul came back after the World Cup".

"If you don't mind to lose a couple of minutes with me, I'm going to do something, not for you but for the United fans, because I think I owe myself to the United fans to share two minutes with you".

From the resulting free-kick De Gea had to be at his best to turn away Kabasele's goal-bound header as United held on to claim the points.