Four brilliant goals, a slightly make-do defence and a thrillingly open away victory: no wonder José Mourinho could be seen looking briefly confused on the Manchester United bench as Ashley Young’s sublime first-half free kick flew into the top corner.
Mourinho’s team were deserved winners at Vicarage Road on a night when they might, Mourinho suggested, have had seven or eight. Poetic licence perhaps but then the idea this United team are built to strangle the life out of their opponents has always been a little awry given the depth of attacking talent, and the brilliance of Paul Pogba when he plays as he did here.
United had looked like running away from Watford as Ashley Young enjoyed an early festive return to Vicarage Road, scoring two lovely goals. The home team never gave up though, dragging it back to 3-2 before Jesse Lingard took the game away with a sublime late fourth goal