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2018/2019 English Premier League
  • Marcus Rashford (28')
  • Anthony Martial (72')
  • Abdoulaye Doucour√© (90')

Manchester United get permanent Solskjaer era off to winning start

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Doucoure's clever finish gives Watford life (0:52)

English Premier League: Abdoulaye Doucoure (90') Manchester United 2-1 Watford (0:52)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won his first game as permanent manager of Manchester United as goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial secured a 2-1 home victory over Watford to put them back into the top four.

United had to withstand plenty of pressure from Watford before Rashford struck on the break, Martial sealing the points after the break following more Watford pressure.

The Hornets made the better start and had a chance after only two minutes, Gerard Deulofeu taking too long to deliver his cross with Troy Deeney waiting in the middle.

Abdoulaye Doucoure then fired wide from inside the area, but with 10 minutes on the clock United created their first moment of danger, Paul Pogba steering a pass towards Rashford who was dispossessed.

Moments later, David De Gea tipped away a Deeney header and then Watford's Will Hughes was booked for a foul on Pogba.

Martial and Luke Shaw linked dangerously for United before the latter's cross was blocked, and Watford came forward again but Roberto Pereyra's strike posed no real problems for De Gea.

With Watford continuing to be the brighter side, De Gea fielded another effort from Deulofeu -- but after 27 minutes United struck with their first shot on target after a lightning counter-attack.

Solskjaer's side won possession just outside their own area through Shaw, who ran forward and slid a fine pass through the Watford defence for Rashford to steer his finish beyond Ben Foster.

Foster made an excellent save to keep it 1-0 when a loose ball fell to Martial, and then Rashford got around Foster on the far edge of the area but could not find a teammate.

Watford's Deulofeu was quickly onto the attack as the second half began but his bouncing strike was gathered by De Gea, who then tipped away a low Pereyra drive.

Watford replaced Daryl Janmaat -- who appeared to have suffered a knock -- with Kiko Femenia, and soon came close again, Hughes firing an effort just wide.

United were struggling to muster much threat and Solskjaer made a double change just after the hour, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera off and Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira on.

Capoue smashed a shot over, but United doubled their lead after 72 minutes when Martial lifted the ball into the roof of the net after Foster had blocked his initial effort.

Watford brought on Demarai Gray, Deulofeu making way, with Marcos Rojo replacing Martial for United.

The visitors' Adam Masina was booked for bringing down Rashford as United tried to break again, and after 89 minutes they got the goal their performance had deserved when Doucoure finished neatly after good work from Isaac Success.

English Premier League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Manchester City 38 +72 98
2 Liverpool 38 +67 97
3 Chelsea 38 +24 72
4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 +28 71
5 Arsenal 38 +22 70
6 Manchester United 38 +11 66
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 +1 57
8 Everton 38 +8 54
9 Leicester City 38 +3 52
10 West Ham United 38 -3 52
11 Watford 38 -7 50
12 Crystal Palace 38 -2 49
13 Newcastle United 38 -6 45
14 AFC Bournemouth 38 -14 45
15 Burnley 38 -23 40
16 Southampton 38 -20 39
17 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 -25 36
18 Cardiff City 38 -35 34
19 Fulham 38 -47 26
20 Huddersfield Town 38 -54 16