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Saturday, October 16, 1999 Published at 20:24 GMT

Man Utd cruise to Watford win

Andy Cole scores a spectacular goal to match Dwight Yorke's effort

Man Utd 4-1 Watford

United scored four goals in 11 minutes either side of half time, as Watford's brave challenge was dismissed by a ruthless home side.

David Oates: "United were in no mood to lose a third successive match"
Watford competed for the first 39 minutes of the match, and also for the final 40 of the game, scoring a 68th-minute consolation through Richard Johnson.

But Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole (two goals) and a Denis Irwin penalty in the game's middle portion meant they went home with no reward.

They also ended with 10 men after Mark Williams was sent off for a high challenge on substitute Jonathan Greening in the 88th minute.

Watford manager Graham Taylor reacted in the sort of angry manner familiar to anyone with a video copy of the former England boss's infamous Channel 4 documentary.

Bosnich back in first team

Mark Bosnich, who played in Wednesday's Worthington Cup defeat at Villa Park, kept his place in the United side with Massimo Taibi not even on the bench.

[ image: Dwight Yorke proved a handful for the Watford defence]
Dwight Yorke proved a handful for the Watford defence
But the rest of Wednesday night's line up was predictably replaced by first team regulars.

Cole and Yorke both went close in the first two minutes, but Watford were not overawed, with Williams and Nordin Wooter having first half chances.

But the roof fell in on the visitors with three quick goals, underneath Old Trafford's stand without a roof, which is being redeveloped.

It all started when Nick Butt lifted a cross from the right into the six yard box, and Yorke smartly scissor-kicked it into the net.

Chamberlain got a hand to it, but was unable to stop the ball trickling over the line.

The Watford keeper had no chance with Cole's goal, with the striker heading home unmarked from close range after Giggs had crossed from the left.


The third was a Denis Irwin penalty, smashed home after Peter Kennedy had bundled over David Beckham in the right-hand corner of the area.

[ image: Defender Dennis Irwin fires home from the penalty spot]
Defender Dennis Irwin fires home from the penalty spot
United made it four five minutes after half time, with Cole scoring the goal of the game.

After Yorke's acrobatics for his goal, his strike partner was not to be outdone and produced an even better finish from Beckham's deflected right wing cross.

Despite the challenge of a defender, Cole met the looping ball at the far post with a scissor kick of his own and gave Chamberlain no chance.

There were further cheers around Old Trafford a few minutes later, but it was not for a fifth goal, merely substitute Roy Keane making a return from his latest injury in place of Jaap Stam.

Subs and sending off

With the game all but won, Alex Ferguson was happy to give other players a run out, with Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Greening introduced either side of Watford's consolation.

Australian striker Johnson thrashed a far post volley past compatriot Bosnich.

The Watford man was left completely unmarked, to provide a reminder of some of United's recent defensive frailties.

The game appeared to be drifting to its inevitable conclusion, but Williams went flying in on Greening by the touchline, and referee Peter Jones produced a red card which was met with an angry reaction from the visitors.


Man Utd: Bosnich, Irwin, Stam, Silvestre, Neville, Beckham, Butt, Scholes, Giggs, Cole, Yorke. Subs: Van Der Gouw, Solskjaer, Wallwork, Greening, Keane.

Watford: Chamberlain, Gibbs, Page, Palmer, Robinson, Kennedy, Hyde, Johnson, Williams, Ngonge, Wooter. Subs: Wright, Day, Smith, Easton, Miller.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough)

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