Manchester United returned to the top five of the Premier League – for at least a few hours – after a convincing victory over Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
Jose Mourinho’s side put in another dominant performance at home this season, and unlike previous frustrating games against Burnley and Hull, they went ahead through Juan Mata early on.
David de Gea was forced into an excellent one-handed stop from Mauro Zarate’s free-kick as Watford threatened a second-half fightback, but Anthony Martial slotted home to all but seal the points for United.
The result sees Manchester United leapfrog rivals Liverpool into fifth place, leading Jurgen Klopp’s side by two points ahead of their evening showdown with Tottenham at Anfield on Saturday.
The Boot Room explores three things we learnt from a comfortable win for United.
Martial stakes claim for regular starting spot
After not featuring in any of Manchester United’s previous three Premier League matches, Anthony Martial finally got given his chance after being named in the starting line-up for the visit of Watford.
The Frenchman certainly staked his claim for a regular berth in United’s starting line-up during the 2-0 win against the Hornets, putting in a display of excellent movement off the ball and clever play on it.
Martial started in a confident manner, running in behind Watford’s defence superbly to lay the ball perfectly into the path of Juan Mata for United’s opener – just reward for a bright first-half display.
Anthony Martial's game by numbers vs. Watford:
3 take-ons completed
2 tackles won
1 chance created
Superb display. pic.twitter.com/z3xx4K272x
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 11, 2017
He then topped off his afternoon in an appropriate fashion, getting on the end of a flowing move from the depth of midfield to keep his composure and slot past Gomes for a more than deserved goal.
The 21-year-old has now been directly involved in six goals in his last five starts in all competitions – scoring three times and assisting three times – and against Watford, he played like he had a point to prove to a certain somebody called Jose Mourinho.