'It was like a testimonial' – Solskjaer not pleased with Man Utd's display at Watford

The Red Devils boss was critical of his side’s display as they suffered defeat at the hands of a team who were yet to win at home this season

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bemoaned the sluggish nature of his side’s first-half performance against Watford, suggesting that his side approached the game as if it were an exhibition match.

The Norwegian was disappointed with the display after watching his team fall to a 2-0 defeat at Vicarage Road, describing the opening 45 minutes as “like a testimonial.”

It was United’s first loss in seven games and meant they remained in 8th position in the Premier League table with the top four still out of reach.

“We started the game slowly,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “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. It was too slow, it was like a testimonial in the first half from both teams.”

But it was during the second half when Watford was able to take the lead and score the goals which ultimately won the game.

The first of these arrived when Ismaila Sarr’s mis-hit shot spun through the hands of David de Gea. Sarr then won a penalty, tempting Aaron Wan-Bissaka into a mistimed tackle.

Troy Deeney slotted home the spot-kick to give Watford their second goal and secure a first home win in the Premier League since April.

“We didn’t deserve to win the game by the way we played. We were too slow in possession, too slow without the ball, not enough intensity,” added Solskjaer, speaking to BBC Match of the Day.

“We didn’t have enough to get back. You have to be out there and ready. If you don’t take your chances you get punished.

“They took their chances. We didn’t take our chances. You have to earn every inch, every chance. 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.”

Manchester United host Newcastle United on Boxing Day before making the short trip across Lancashire to face Sean Dyche’s Burnley on December 28th.

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