Watford have been knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round after a Scott McTominay early goal was enough for Manchester United to go through, but there will have been some pleasing signs for Xisco Muñoz after his side fought well.
The Hornets competed well against the side who could go top of the Premier League table on Tuesday night, but focus will now turn solely onto their promotion push.
Muñoz handed a debut to new signing Phillip Zinckernagel, who impressed and received the club’s man of the match award, as well as seeing Joao Pedro return to side after his recent injury.
United started well and looked threatening, and it looked like it could have been a long night for the Hornets after Alex Telles’ corner found captain Scott McTominay, who’s header deceived Daniel Bachmann and found the top right corner of the net to give the hosts the early lead.
It looked bleak for Watford in the first 15 minutes, however they had a chance to equalise a few minutes later when the ball fell to Adam Masina in the box, but his half-volley was well saved by Dean Henderson, which allowed Axel Tuanzebe to clear the danger from the goal line.
Zinckernagel and Sarr were looking dangerous on the wings and the pair linked up well in the 32nd minute, which allowed Sarr to get a shot away, but again the effort was blocked.
United probably should have doubled their lead just before half time after an excellent flick from Donny Van de Beek played through Juan Mata, but this time it was Bachmann’s turn to save well.
The second half had little chances, but Watford held their own and had their fare share of the ball, with their biggest chance falling to Joseph Hungbo late on, but his effort was deflected wide.
The home side’s best chance came to substitute Marcus Rashford, who added more threat to United’s attack, but again the effort was too close for Bachmann.
Ultimately, Watford fell too short and failed to progress in the FA Cup, but Muñoz will be impressed that his side managed to compete well with a strong United side.
The focus now turns back to the
Championship, where the Hornets will be looking to get their first win of 2021 against Huddersfield Town on Saturday, January 16, at Vicarage Road.
Picture credit: Watford FC