Ole Gunnar Solskjaer issues scathing assessment of Man United flops after Watford defeat
FOOTBALL By Mirror | December 23rd 2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has slammed his Manchester United flops after falling to a shock defeat at Watford - and says their performance felt like his testimonial match.
David De Gea's howler put the rock-bottom Hornets on course for a remarkable result as United endured their most chastening loss of the season.
Nigel Pearson's first home match was a free hit heading into Christmas, with the Hornets nine points off safety before kick-off and already staring down the barrel of relegation.
Yet Watford's survival hopes received an unlikely shot in the arm on Sunday as United goalkeeper De Gea somehow let in Ismaila Sarr's shot before Troy Deeney quickly scored a penalty foolishly given away by Aaron Wan-Bissaka in a vital 2-0 win.
And Solskjaer didn't hold back in his assessment of his struggling squad, admitting that they deserved to suffer their fifth defeat of the Premier League campaign.
"It's not a complacency thing,"he said. "First half it could have easily been my testimonial. It was subdued, slow, no urgency. Any encouragement their crowd got came from our mistakes.
"We started the game slow. The first half was very, very poor from both sides and when you concede two goals like we did in quick succession with their two shots on target we gave ourselves too much to do.
"We had been doing well but you have to earn every single point in this league."
Solskjaer's side were out-fought and out-thought in Hertfordshire, where a forgettable first half was followed by a second period to remember for the Hornets.
Having shown promise in defeat at table-topping Liverpool last weekend, Pearson's men took the lead in a league match at Vicarage Road for the first time since April as Sarr's 50th-minute effort somehow crept past De Gea.
Wan-Bissaka's foul on Sarr four minutes later allowed Deeney to double Watford's lead during an extraordinary start to the second half that United were unable to find a way back into as much as Solskjaer's stunned side tried.
Despite De Gea's howler, Solskjaer refused to criticise his under-fire goalkeeper and said: "It was a mistake, it happens in football and it is what we train for every day to make sure they don't happen again.
"David has been very good lately, it is just one of those things that happen.
"You have to earn every point on the pitch and today we didn't deserve that.
"I can talk about it all day long. We have to face the fact we have two games coming up that we have to improve on."
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