Manchester U 3 Watford 0
Manchester United 3 Watford 0, Old Trafford, English Premier League, February 23, 2020. Manchester United had few problems in beating Watford at home. Bruno Fernandes gave United the lead from the spot three minutes ahead of the break before Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood hit further goals in the second half to give the hosts a three-nil win.
Manchester United had beaten Chelsea by two goals to nil in their last Premiership encounter thanks to a first half goal from Anthony Martial and a second by Harry Maguire after the restart. Watford, meanwhile, had managed a one-all draw against Brighton and Hove Albion at Falmer Stadium, with Adrian Mariappa scoring for The Seagulls and Abdoulaye Doucoure finding the back of the net for The Hornets. Seventh placed Manchester United took the advantage against relegation threatened Watford when new signing from Portuguese Primeira Liga club Sporting Lisbon, Bruno Fernandes, brilliantly beat ex-Old Trafford goaltender Ben Foster from the penalty spot in the forty-second minute of the fixture after the former had been fouled inside the area by the latter. And during a one-sided second half, Martial made it two-nil to Manchester United with a fabulous close range finish in the fifty-seventh minute before England U21 international Mason Greenwood rounded off the scoring as the eighteen-year-old forward unleashed an unstoppable shot from the middle of the box past Foster and into the top left-hand corner of the net with fifteen minutes left on the clock. The comprehensive home victory took Manchester United up to fifth position in the Premier League standings, while Nigel Pearson´s boys remained next to bottom, six points above table-proppers Norwich City. Then, at the business end, Liverpool, still undefeated in the Premiership, were comfortably leading the way with seventy-six points collected from twenty-six matches, as much as nineteen points ahead of second placed Manchester City.
Born and brought up in Maia, Metropolitan Area of Porto, Bruno Fernandes had started out playing for local team Boavista; a club known for giving youngsters a chance. After a number of impressive performances in the youth team, the precociously talented prospect was lured to Novara at the end of the 2011-12 term and proceeded to play twenty-three Italian Serie B games for The Gaudentians the next season. With his fame growing, Fernandes was signed by Udinese at the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign and was handed his Serie A debut for The White and Blacks in a three-nil loss to Inter Milan at Stadio Friulion on the third of November 2013. Following eighty-six Serie A appearances for Udinese, he was eventually shipped out on loan to Sampdoria in the summer of 2016, with an obligation to be signed permanently. He went on to make his top-flight debut for Sampdoria in a two-one win against Atalanta at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on the twenty-eighth of August 2016 and appeared in thirty-five first team matches for the club until moving to Sporting Lisbon at the start of the 2017-18 season. A midfielder with an eye for goal, he would score thirty-nine Primeira Liga goals in eighty-three appearances for The Lions before he joined Manchester United for undisclosed fee in January 2020. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “We feel that we have added some X-factor quality with Bruno Fernandes. We want to develop that X-factor. He has come in and impressed everyone, but we do not want to put a limit on what he can do.” Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Fred, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, Nemanja Matic. Substitutes: Eric Bailly, Brandon Williams, Tahith Chong, Juan Mata, Scott McTominay, Odion Ighalo, Sergio Romero. Watford Team: Ben Foster, Craig Dawson, Christian Kabasele, Adam Masina, Craig Cathcart, Etienne Capoue, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Will Hughes, Troy Deeney, Gerard Deulofeu, Roberto Pereyra. Substitutes: Adrian Mariappa, Nathaniel Chalobah, Tom Cleverley, Ismaila Sarr, Andre Gray, Danny Welbeck, Heurelho Gomes.
Manchester United Quickfacts
Manchester United overcame First Division newcomers Watford by two goals to none at Old Trafford on the twenty-third of April 1983 through goals from Ashley Grimes and Laurie Cunningham.