Manchester U 1 Watford 0
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.