While the manner of their performances against Liverpool and Manchester City was concerning, they represent at least two of the best teams in Europe.
The visitors were punished for an erratic display in the first half with Joshua King and Ismaila Sarr on target for the hosts for whom Sarr also had a penalty saved by David De Gea, who then prevented Sarr from resuming after the VAR decided that a player was in the zone.
Substitute Donny van de Beek inspired a revival after the break and halved the deficit in the 50th minute, but United’s day was summed up when defender Harry Maguire was sent off for a clumsy tackle 20 minutes from the end.
Watford absolutely secured a crucial victory with a grandstand finish as stoppage goals from substitute Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis sparked boisterous celebrations from the Vicarage Road faithful.
It was a formidable surrender for United facing a crucial week with a Champions League game against Villarreal before a trip to Chelsea next weekend.
They are in seventh place with 17 points, 12 behind Chelsea, while Watford, 16th, has 13 points in 12 games.
Additional Reuters Reports