Manchester U 1 Watford 0

Michael Carrick

Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Wat­ford 0, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, May 13, 2018. Man­chester Uni­ted be­at Wat­ford at The Theatre of Dreams on the last day of the 2017-18 Pre­mier Lea­gue sea­son in what was Mi­chael Carrick´s fi­nal ap­pear­ance for the Old Traf­ford club. Uni­ted won the tie ag­ainst The Hor­nets by 1-0 thanks to a fir­st-ha­lf goal from Mar­cus Rash­ford el­ev­en min­utes ahead of the break.

Fol­low­ing a nar­row 2-1 Su­per Cup de­feat ag­ainst La Liga gi­ants Re­al Mad­rid at the Philip the Sec­ond Arena in Skopje, Man­chester Uni­ted had kicked off the 2017-18 Pre­mier Lea­gue cam­paign on a pos­it­ive note, win­ning their open­ing ga­me ag­ainst West Ham Uni­ted by 4-0 at The Theatre of Dreams thro­ugh a brace from Bel­gian stri­ker Ro­melu Lu­kaku and a goal each by French in­ter­na­tion­als An­thony Mar­tial and Paul Po­gba. This was fol­lowed by a 4-0 win over Swansea City at Liberty Sta­dium and a 2-0 vic­tory over Lei­cester City at Old Traf­ford. Man­chester Uni­ted then won eight of their next twelve Pre­miership fix­tures, but af­ter suf­fer­ing their fir­st ho­me de­feat of the term ag­ainst Pre­mier Lea­gue lead­ers Man­chester City shortly be­fore Christ­mas, Jose Mou­rinho ad­mit­ted that the club´s title hopes were vir­tu­ally over. Uni­ted did be­at The Sky Blues 3-2 in the re­verse meet­ing at the East­lands just af­ter East­er, but their title dreams were ef­fect­ively ended when they lost by 1-0 to bot­tom-of-the-ta­ble West Brom­wich Al­bion at Old Traf­ford the fol­low­ing week­end. At the end of the day, how­ever, Man­chester Uni­ted fin­ished in sec­ond po­s­i­tion, four points clear of Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur and six in front of Liver­pool, thus se­cur­ing a place in the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue. Wat­ford, on the oth­er hand, had on­ly won six ga­mes in the fir­st part of the sea­son and fou­nd them­selves alarm­ingly clo­se to the re­leg­a­tion area by Christ­mas. They emer­ged 2-1 vic­tors over Lei­cester City at Vicar­age Road on Box­ing Day cour­tesy of a goal by Ud­inese loanee Molla Wague plus an own goal from Den­mark in­ter­na­tion­al Kas­per Schmei­chel, but then came de­feats ag­ainst Swansea City and Man­chester City. Watford´s in­con­sist­ency con­tin­ued, but des­pite their roller-coast­er form, they still ended four­teenth in the top-flight stand­ings, eight points above the drop zone.

Man­chester Uni­ted closed their Pre­miership cam­paign wi­th a mod­est 1-0 win ag­ainst Wat­ford in their 500th ho­me ga­me in the Pre­mier Lea­gue. In front of over 75,000 people at Old Traf­ford, for­mer Three Li­ons in­ter­na­tion­al Mi­chael Car­rick was giv­en a guard of hon­our as the sea­soned cam­paign­er walked onto the pitch wi­th his chil­dren ahead of the kick-off. The win­ning and on­ly goal of the con­test ar­rived in the 34th min­ute of ac­tion when Car­rick de­livered a su­perb long ball to fel­low mid­field man Ju­an Ma­ta who­se square pass al­lowed Mar­cus Rash­ford to be­at Wat­ford shot stop­per Heurelho Go­mes and find the back of the net. Dur­ing a re­l­at­ively un­event­ful sec­ond pe­riod, Lu­ke Shaw came on for Ash­ley Young on the hour ma­rk, whi­le An­der Her­rera was bro­ught on for Da­ley Bli­nd in the 77th min­ute of the tussle. And wi­th five min­ute re­maining of nor­mal time, Paul Po­gba re­placed Car­rick who left the field to a stand­ing ova­tion from the Old Traf­ford crowd. A de­fens­ive mid­fielder, Mi­chael Car­rick had played for West Ham Uni­ted, Swin­don To­wn, Birm­ing­ham City, and Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur be­fore he ev­entually sig­ned wi­th Man­chester Uni­ted for a trans­fer fee es­tim­ated to be some­where in the re­gion of £14 mil­lion at the be­gin­ning of the 2006-07 sea­son. Af­ter ma­king his com­pet­it­ive de­but for Uni­ted in a 3–0 Pre­miership tri­umph over Charl­ton Ath­let­ic at The Val­ley on the 23rd of Au­gust 2006, he would go on to amass a total of 464 fir­st te­am ap­pear­ances for the club, scor­ing 24 goals dur­ing the pro­cess. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ser­gio Rom­ero, Eric Bailly, Mat­teo Dar­mian, Mar­cos Rojo, Da­ley Bli­nd, Ash­ley Young, Mi­chael Car­rick, Ju­an Ma­ta, Scott Mc­Tom­inay, Alex­is San­chez, Mar­cus Rash­ford. Sub­stitutes: Joel Pe­reira, Lu­ke Shaw, Phil Jones, An­tonio Va­lencia, An­der Her­rera, Jesse Lin­gard, Paul Po­gba. Wat­ford Te­am: Heurelho Go­mes, Jose Hole­bas, Daryl Jan­maat, Chris­ti­an Ka­basele, Craig Cath­cart, Ab­doulaye Dou­coure, Will Hug­hes, Rob­erto Pereyra, Richarl­is­on de An­drade, Ger­ard Deu­lo­feu, An­dre Gray. Sub­stitutes: Dan Bach­mann, Se­basti­an Prodl, Ad­ri­an Mari­appa, Nath­aniel Cha­lo­b­ah, Dodi Luke­bakio, Troy Deeney, Jerome Sinclair.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted over­came Wat­ford by 1-0 in an FA Cup Fourth Ro­und tie at Vicar­age Road on the 28th of Jan­uary 1950. Ex- Bourne­mouth and Bos­combe Ath­let­ic fa­vour­ite Jack Row­ley sco­red the win­ner for Uni­ted when he be­at ho­me goal­keeper Ge­off Mor­ton wi­th a gro­und shot in the 89th minute.


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