Jose hails United's scoring punch

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-30 07:49

But second-half lapse against Watford leaves Mourinho fuming

WATFORD, England - Jose Mourinho said Manchester United ought to have been "smoking cigars" after grinding out a 4-2 win at Watford on Tuesday.

But the United boss said his side "lost stability" when midfielder Nemanja Matic went off early in the second half with an injury.

So often lauded for its defensive strength, United produced another reminder of its attacking capabilities by scoring four goals in a Premier League game for the sixth time this season.

On the receiving end was an opponent that had already been pummeled 6-0 by Manchester City - the team second-place United is striving to reel in.

Ashley Young scored twice in the first half and Jesse Lingard ensured there would be no late fightback from Watford with a 60-yard strike to seal the win at Vicarage Road.

United had already scored four against West Ham, Swansea, Everton, Crystal Palace and Newcastle, belying the belief Mourinho is not comfortable unleashing his attack.

"We should have scored seven," said the Portuguese. "We were very dangerous for 90 minutes."

United was 3-0 up before halftime thanks to Young's double and a goal from Anthony Martial.

But after the break the Hornets struck twice through substitute Troy Deeney's penalty and Abdoulaye Doucoure before Lingard finally put the result beyond doubt four minutes from time.

United's victory came after two consecutive away defeats and left Mourinho's second-place side five points behind leader City, which hosted Southampton on Wednesday.

But there was no hiding Mourinho's frustration when he said: "The second half should have been five or 6-0, it was easier to score than the first.

"It was an easy match to win comfortably. At 3-2 the game is in the balance, then Jesse Lingard had the initiative to kill the game.

"Both him and Ashley Young scored great goals. We missed 4-0 with some actions and Romelu Lukaku had an open goal, Paul Pogba had a free header too. We should be smoking cigars, but then we were in trouble."

Veteran Young is turning out to be a secret attacking weapon for United.

The winger-turned-left-back's deflected shot looped into the top corner for the winning goal against Brighton on Saturday, and the 32-year-old was scoring again three days later against the club where the England international started his career.

Both were great strikes, too - his first being a fierce low blast inside the near post from outside the area in the 19th minute. Then he curled a freekick into the top corner in the 25th to make it 2-0.

Mourinho said Matic's departure made for United's nervy finish to the game.

"We lost stability when Nemanja had to come out but the important thing is the three points," the former Chelsea boss said.

"I saw happiness from the team and they played with a free mind. I know what Ashley Young can be; he gives stability in his performances and this season he is playing more regularly.

"He has the spirit and experience we need and today he also had the talent to score two beautiful goals.

"For Matic to tell me he wants to be replaced, he does not do that if it is nothing important. It is a muscular injury, so we will see."

It's in the big games, against United's title rivals, that Mourinho chooses to keep it tight and two of them are coming up: away at Arsenal on Saturday and then the visit of City on Dec 10.

United has nine clean sheets from 14 games so far.


 Jose hails United's scoring punch

Ashley Young celebrates scoring Manchester United's second goal against Watford in their English Premier League match at Vicarage Road, Watford, on Tuesday. United won 4-2.Andrew Couldridge / Action Images Via Reuters

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