Ashley young was the star with two brilliant goals as Manchester United casted aside any inkling of upset by high flying Watford at Vicarage Road.
Jose Mourinho has come up with some excuses in his time but explaining Romelu Lukaku’s lack of goals by revealing that his £75 million striker no longer has his own boot endorsement might be the most glorious diversion ever dreamed up by football’s most Machiavellian mind.
It was already a strange night’s football by the time that Mourinho came in post-match to analyse a game in which his team had taken a three-goal lead within 31 minutes only almost to throw it all away in the second half when Watford claimed two of their own.
This briefly looked like the worst nightmare for a manager whose speciality was once that his teams knew how to shut the door as well as any other, and it took Jesse Lingard to score a brilliant fourth to seal it.
In the meantime, United had missed chance after chance, an “open goal” as Mourinho said for Lingard and two good opportunities for Lukaku who was playing in what might only be described as felt-tip Nikes, with the swoosh scribbled out. The outstanding performer had been Ashley Young, back at his first club scoring two first-half goals including a remarkable free-kick for the second, which was greeted by his manager on the bench with a theatrical expression of disbelief.
One minute before substitute Troy Deeney scored the first of Watford’s two goals from the penalty spot, Lukaku missed badly, hesitating over his chance and allowing defenders back in between him and the goal. “I think he [Lukaku] needs a big contract with boots because at this moment he doesn’t have a contract with any brand, that’s why he’s playing with black boots,” Mourinho said. “He finished his deal and now he is waiting for the right offer and he is playing in black boots.
“I think he needs a brand to give him the right boots and to pay him the right money so he goes back to goals. But jokes apart, he works amazingly well. Amazing player, amazing professional, great condition, great colleague. I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Culled from Telegraph.