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Men's Football Bruno Fernandes steals the spotlight at Old Trafford as United stay in the race for a Champions League spot

MANCHESTER UNITED remain on the heels of fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League following a 3-0 win over Watford at Old Trafford.

Despite being second best for large parts of the game, the home side remained in the race for a Champions League place thanks to a first-half Bruno Fernandes penalty and second-half goals from Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

Watford dominated for large parts but a lack of fishing in the final third was their downfall and they remain in the bottom three in the league but just a point from safety.

It was misunderstanding between Harry Maguire and Nemanja Matic on the edge of their penalty area that gave the away side a chance to open the scoring inside the first five minutes. Troy Deeney capitalised on the error from United only for his effort to be extinguished with a goal-saving challenge from Luke Shaw.

United took until just after the 15 minute mark for the home side to beak down a resolute Watford defence when a curling right-footed Daniel James effort was parried by Ben Foster into the path of Aaron Wan-Bissaka who shot just wide.

Watford, who were the better side for the majority of the first-half, continued to frustrate their hosts, winning the midfield battles.

And Abdoulaye Doucoure was at the heart of most of those battles, turning defence into attack and stinging the hands of David de Gea with a rasping effort on 30 minutes.

But against the run of play the home side were awarded a penalty just before half-time when James played in Fernandes with slide-rule pass. 

Ben Foster came racing off his line and brought down the Portuguese midfielder who stepped up to convert the resulting spot kick, his first goal for the club since signing from Sporting CP in January.

Watford thought they had equalised early in the second half only for Deeney’s goal to be chalked off by VAR after the in-swinging corner from Will Hughes was adjudged to have hit Craig Dawson’s arm in the build-up.

Moments after the goal was disallowed the away side were hit with a sucker punch when Martial chipped the ball over Foster and into the back of the net after his initial effort was saved by the former United keeper before Greenwood unleashed a thunderous left-footed strike into the roof of Foster’s goal.

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