Jose Mourinho blasts pundits with barrage of Marcus Rashford statistics

Luke Shaw

REUTERS Man Utd ace Shaw lies prone on the Wembley turf

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has defended his record of playing Marcus Rashford and insisted that the striker has been playing more football than any other English youngster of his age at other top clubs.

A defeat for United would have seen them suffer three losses in their opening five Premier League games for the first time, but they picked up where they left off against Burnley prior to the worldwide break, professionally dealing with an in-form Watford side.

But that moment of togetherness has seemingly helped to turn around their early-season form, with smiles very much back on the faces of all of those of a United persuasion following their 2-1 win at Watford on Saturday.

After Andre Gray was left unmarked to pull one back for Watford, United was reduced to 10 men in stoppage time: Nemanja Matic received a second booking for bringing down Will Hughes.

"We made defensive mistakes against Brighton and against Tottenham", Mourinho said.

"Then we go to two matches away, hard matches".

The biggest surprise comes in the form of their Champions League tallies, with Ronaldo's now hallowed UCL scoring streak then reading 0 goals in 18 games, while Rashford has scored 3 in 8 games.

"One thing I can assure you: I will always give 100 per cent, no matter which coach I always give everything for United", Pogba said last week.

"We have to respect Man United, for sure", he added.

"He can not be a wing-back in the system of five - he can not replace Luke Shaw, Kieran Trippier or Danny Rose at all".

Gracia, whose side came into the match on the back of four straight wins, said his team had been outplayed in the first half but had responded well after a team talk.

The Hornets had the better of the opening 20 minutes, Troy Deeney forcing a superb save from David de Gea, but United grew in confidence immeasurably after their quick-fire double strike.

The visitors thought they had taken the lead at the midway point of the first half but Alexis Sanchez was flagged offside as he controlled and finished Matic's cross.

United, backed by their vocal travelling fans, who regularly chanted the name of Mourinho, were establishing a foothold in the game and made their pressure count in the 35th minute.

Watford failed to clear a free kick, and after Ashley Young gained control, he fired ahead to Lukaku, who met the ball with his chest from four yards for the finish.

That goal infused the team and the fans with renewed belief and United suddenly looked shaky as Watford poured forward in search of an equaliser.

Dybala scored 26 goals for Juventus last season but has started just one match for them in Serie A so far this term following Ronaldo's £100m arrival.

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