Date: 1st February 2007 at 3:23pm
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It was too easy. United eased to victory against Watford who showed again they are a decent Championship side. The visitors made it difficult for us until the first goal but they were never really in this game.

United dominated from start to finish and apart from the cross that deceived Kuszczak to hit the bar, the Hornets never threatened to score. We weren’t at our creative best and did not have many opportunities but 17 shots on goal speak for themselves, even though we needed a penalty to break them down.

Kieran Richardson started on the left wing and O’Shea in the middle. I think they would admit they did little to stake their claim for a regular place. Richardson was lively but one-dimensional and his vision and thinking deserted him all too often. O’Shea was invisible as a defensive midfielder but that’s not his fault. Fletcher would have deserved a place on the bench at least, I don’t know why he fell out of favour now he had started to play well this season.

Great to see Rooney in such a form. He sprang into life in the second half and as a result our attacks became much more refined. Watford simply could not cope with our players’ pace and skill. They are definitely doomed, this squad is very far off the Premiership standard. The last 2 minutes were embarassing: United knocking the ball around in a relaxed fashion whilst Watford players did not have the mental and physical strength to take it. Mike Dean made the teams play until the end of the 3 minutes of added time. Torture for both teams.

Regarding our title chances, it’s a sad thing Chelsea managed to win. They will defeat Charlton on Saturday to close the gap to three points and we will face an awfully tough game at Tottenham. The title race will be very, very close I believe.

Player Ratings

Kuszczak 6
Shameful moment at that cross, otherwise he could have had a session on a sunbed but for the weather.

Neville 7
Played very well, good attacking contribution.

Vidic 6
Needlessly booked and a threat at set-pieces.

Ferdinand 6
Nothing to do at the back so came forward often.

Heinze 6
Nothing special.

Ronaldo 7
His ball to Rooney before the 4th goal was magnificent.

Carrick 7
A creative force in the absence of Scholesy, effective.

O’Shea 6
Almost invisible, he could not complain about being overworked.

Richardson 6
A lot of running but his only real contribution was that bad cross that Doyley turned into his own net.

Solskjaer 6
Not one of his better games, brought down for the penalty.

Rooney 8
Brilliant again.

Larsson 7
Cool finish.

Brown 6
Late cameo.
Nothing to do.