Late goals by Juan Zuniga and Troy Deeney helped Watford achieve their first victory over Manchester United in 30 years as they completed a 3-1 win in the English Premier League here on Sunday.
It was United’s third loss in a row, after being beaten 1-2 by Manchester City in the EPL and 0-1 by Dutch side Feyenoord in Europa League recently.
Zuniga had not even been on the pitch for a minute when he was picked out by Roberto Pereyra with seven minutes remaining to restore Watford’s lead after Marcus Rashford had cancelled out Etienne Capoue’s first-half opener. And Troy Deeney provided the gloss to the scoreline with a stoppage-time penalty. Watford started strongly and might have taken the lead 12 minutes in when Odion Ighalo missed an open goal when the ball fell to him on the edge of the area. United goalkeeper David De Gea made a superb stop from a thumping Deeney header shortly after.
United appeared to have weathered the early storm and Zlatan Ibrahimovic put a presentable chance wide midway through the first half after Marcus Rashford broke down the right and picked him out with a wonderful square pass.
Paul Pogba was also unfortunate to see his dipping long-range drive rebound off the crossbar on the half-hour mark with Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes beaten all ends up. The hosts took the lead on 34 minutes after Miguel Britos and Daryl Janmaat combined to dispossess Anthony Martial and the defender cut the ball back for Capoue to score his fourth goal of the season.
United were level on 62 minutes when Ibrahimovic surged forward from deep, played a one-two with Rashford and narrowly missed the striker with a clipped cross. However, Valon Behrami could only deflect the ball back into Rashford’s path and the 18-year-old made no mistake from close range.
Jose Mourinho’s men grew in confidence as the match wore on with Ibrahimovic coming close to giving his side the lead only for his towering header to be tipped wide by a fingertip save from Gomes.
But it was Watford and Zuniga, who struck next, Pereyra finding space down the right to cut the ball back to the substitute to score with his first touch of the match.
Deeney then made it 3-1 with a powerful spot-kick after Zuniga had been felled by Marouane Fellaini.