Bottom of the league Watford beat Manchester United 2-0 in Nigel Pearson’s first game in charge at Vicarage Road, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s struggles continue against sides in the bottom half of the table.
Jesse Lingard wasted the best chance of a sloppy first half before Ismaila Sarr gave Watford the lead with the first shot on target five minutes after the restart through a horrendous David de Gea mistake.
Troy Deeney put the Hornets 2-0 up from the penalty spot four minutes later securing their second win of the season and with it ending United’s six game unbeaten run.
They move up to 12 points but remain bottom of the table with their second win of the season, while the Red Devils remain eighth, with pressure surely mounting now on the Manchester United manager.
United fielded an unchanged side from their 1-1 draw with Everton, although Paul Pogba made the bench. It’s the first time the Frenchman has been named in a matchday squad since 30 September when they drew 1-1 with Arsenal.
Nigel Pearson, in his first game in charge, also selected the same starting eleven that performed well against Liverpool last time out.
After an end to end opening Abdoulaye Doucoure had the ball in the back of the net for Watford in the 18th minute, but it was disallowed for a foul on David de Gea as he went up to catch the corner.
The Hornets almost opened the scoring eight minutes later after Marcus Rashford gave the ball away, Watford broke quickly through Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu, but Luke Shaw got back brilliantly to block Deeney’s effort inside the box.
Jesse Lingard wasted United’s best chance of the game in the 34th minute. Anthony Martial put him clean through on goal and he opted to try and chip Ben Foster rather than pick his spot and his effort landed on the roof of the net.
Both sides were still looking for a first effort on target and Doucoure came next closest to opening the scoring for the home side, meeting Kiko’s whipped ball but heading wide of the post five minutes before the break.
De Gea gifted Watford the lead five minutes after the restart with an absolute howler.
Will Hughes’ free kick fell to Ismaila Sarr, whose effort wasn’t clean or powerful, but the ball somehow went through the Spaniard’s hands, hit him in the face and landed in the back of the net.
Four minutes later and bottom of the league Watford were 2-0 up from the penalty spot.
Sarr was brought down inside the box by Aaron Wan-Bissaka before Deeney stepped up and smashed it down the middle to double the home side’s advantage.
Foster was called into action to deny United’s first shot on target as he kept out Scott McTominay's powerful drive from just outside the box.
In a bid to get United going Solskjaer brought Pogba on for Lingard with 25 minutes left to play in his first appearance since the end of September.
The substitute almost pulled one back for the away side with a curling effort towards the top corner, but Foster was equal to it.
The Watford keeper made the save of the match to deny Rashford in the final minute when the striker looked certain to score, bringing down Martial cross, but the 36-year-old kept it out with his legs.
Three points means Watford are now level on 12 points with Norwich but remain bottom of the league after their second win of the season.