Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United should have been 'smoking a cigar' during victory over Watford, says Mourinho

 

By Miguel Delaney

Fuming Jose Mourinho rapped his Manchester United players after their win at Watford last night as they conceded two late goals when they should have been "smoking a cigar".

United moved to within five points of leaders Manchester City, who play Southampton tonight, with a 4-2 win at Vicarage Road after cruising 3-0 at the break.

Former Watford winger Ashley Young scored two stunning goals inside six minutes to break a scoring duck stretching back to May 2016 and, when Anthony Martial tucked home a third, the visitors looked home and dry.

Instead, Watford hit back as substitute Troy Deeney converted a 77th-minute penalty before Abdoulaye Doucoure turned home to bring Marco Silva's side to within one goal.

Jesse Lingard secured the points with a fantastic solo effort after running at the Watford defence, but Mourinho felt his side had taken their foot off the gas having raced into a three-goal lead.

"It was an easy match to win comfortably, in the last minutes we should be smoking a cigar, but in the end it is three points," Mourinho said. "Maybe it's a good lesson and it's good to have lessons without losing points, so next time you're winning 2-0 or 3-0, I think the players will remember football is football."

Mourinho praised Young's influence after the England international played a massive part in the winning goal against Brighton on Saturday before leading from the front here with a well-taken first and a precise free-kick for his second.

"He's playing well," Mourinho added.

"I know what he can do for us, all the positions he can be useful for us, but this left-back position, I think he has adapted and at this stage of his career he has the maturity and tactical experience, it is good.

"I was surprised that Paul (Pogba) gave him permission (to take the free-kick). I was not surprised with his shot.

"He's quite good and his percentage of success in training is quite high, we knew he could score."

Watford boss Marco Silva felt his players reacted badly to Young's opening strike after beginning the game well, and was frustrated that they compounded that goal further.

"It is a hard result for us, we started very well in the match," he said.

"We controlled the opponent well and in that moment the game is really balanced. We put two or three dangerous crosses into the box.

"They went three times in our box in 10 minutes and scored three goals. We started well and no-one expected what happened in those moments."

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