Premier League
Man Utd1Watford0

Manchester United 1-0 Watford

Michael Carrick
Michael Carrick was given a guard of honour by both teams at Old Trafford

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho said Michael Carrick could be his assistant manager in the future, after the midfielder ended his playing career in a victory over Watford.

Carrick, 36, will join the club's coaching staff after 12 seasons and 464 appearances as a Red Devils player.

Mourinho's current assistant Rui Faria will leave the club in the summer, ending a 17-year working relationship with his compatriot.

Speaking after the win over Watford, Mourinho said he would not have an assistant next season as "nobody in the world of football is ready".

"I think it will be Michael Carrick in future, when he has his badges," he said. "When he has his pro licence, when he makes the bridge from player to assistant.

"I got to Michael in the last part of his career and it was enough to fall in love with the player and person."

Carrick, who was given a guard of honour as he walked onto the pitch with his children before the game, helped set up Marcus Rashford's decisive goal against Watford.

He lofted a pass to Juan Mata, who squared for Rashford to score in the 34th minute.

Former England midfielder Carrick left the field to a standing ovation in the 85th minute as he was replaced by Paul Pogba. He was embraced by several of his team-mates, and Mourinho.

Carrick shows what United will miss

Carrick joined United from Tottenham in 2006 for £18m and has won five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

But appearances in the final season of his 19-year playing career have been limited by an irregular heart rhythm - this was just his fifth match of the campaign, and first since February.

Nevertheless, he showed what United will miss in his absence - making the most passes and having the most touches of any Red Devils player.

Sitting deep in midfield, he was calm in possession and mopped up any trouble at the back, before trying to start counter-attacks.

His pass to Mata was trademark Carrick, and United will need to spend in the summer to find a suitable replacement.

Carrick told BBC Sport: "It was very special. I had mixed emotions as I have not played a lot of football this year and wanted to win the game going into next week.

"I will just cherish the memories. The reception I got will live with me for the rest of my days, and having the kids and my family with me adds up to something special.

"It is not a sad farewell or goodbye, I am looking forward to next week for starters and we will take it from there."

Michael Carrick
Carrick thanked Mourinho and mentioned former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in his speech at the end of the game

Second is best finish since Ferguson retired

It is hard to take much from United's performance, with Mourinho making nine changes from the midweek draw at West Ham.

Despite Rashford's presence they lacked pace and urgency, and must hope it is a different story when they face Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

Rashford's goal was one of only two moments of excitement in an otherwise soporific first half, the other coming when United goalkeeper Sergio Romero made a stunning one-handed save to deny Richarlison just before the break.

The second half was little better, with both teams causing few problems.

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Mourinho: 81 points is a significant improvement

Victory meant United ended the season on 81 points and in second place, their highest finish since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Prior to the match there were question marks over the absence of France forward Anthony Martial, who Mourinho had said would start the game.

It was later revealed he injured his left knee in training, and Mourinho said he is a big doubt for the FA Cup final.

Gracia hoping to stay at Watford

Watford have finished 14th in their third season back in the top flight, an improvement from 17th 12 months earlier.

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Man Utd 1-0 Watford:

Marco Silva was sacked in January with the club 10th in the table, with Javi Gracia subsequently winning four, drawing three and losing seven of his 14 league games in charge.

A 4-1 defeat of Chelsea in February was a rare highlight for Gracia, who hopes to stay at Vicarage Road.

Asked if he would still be in the role next season, the 48-year-old Spaniard said: "Yes, I think so.

"I've already spoken many times with the owner. I can feel he is ambitious. I don't know what happens in the future with different movements but I'm sure he will try to improve the squad for next season."

One of the few bright spots for Watford was the return of midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah, who made his first appearance since September after a knee injury.

Man of the match - Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick
Carrick was easily United's best player as he made the final appearance of his playing career

Stats - United are clean sheet kings

  • United won all 21 of their Premier League matches this season when they scored first, only the second team to achieve this in a Premier League season (also Portsmouth in 2007-08).
  • Watford are now goalless in each of their eight away Premier League games - their run stretches to 728 minutes on the road.
  • Under Javi Gracia, the Hornets have attempted 61 shots in away Premier League games without scoring.
  • Rashford has been involved in 17 goals in his past 18 starts at Old Trafford in all competitions (nine goals, eight assists).
  • Carrick made his 481st and final Premier League appearance - this was his first start in the competition for 364 days (14 May 2017 against Spurs).
  • Romero has kept six clean sheets in seven Premier League matches for United.
  • Since the start of last season, United have kept more Premier League clean sheets than any other team (36).

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 20Romero
  • 36Darmian
  • 3Bailly
  • 5RojoBooked at 9mins
  • 18YoungBooked at 58minsSubstituted forShawat 60'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 39McTominayBooked at 68mins
  • 16CarrickSubstituted forPogbaat 85'minutes
  • 17BlindSubstituted forHerreraat 77'minutes
  • 8Mata
  • 19Rashford
  • 7Sánchez

Substitutes

  • 4Jones
  • 6Pogba
  • 14Lingard
  • 21Herrera
  • 23Shaw
  • 25A Valencia
  • 40Castro Pereira

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 2Janmaat
  • 15Cathcart
  • 27KabaseleSubstituted forMariappaat 21'minutes
  • 25Holebas
  • 16Doucouré
  • 7DeulofeuSubstituted forDeeneyat 63'minutes
  • 19Hughes
  • 37Pereyra
  • 11Richarlison
  • 18GraySubstituted forChalobahat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Prödl
  • 6Mariappa
  • 9Deeney
  • 14Chalobah
  • 17Sinclair
  • 20Lukebakio
  • 35Bachmann
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
75,049

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home7
Away7
Shots on Target
Home1
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home6
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester United 1, Watford 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Watford 0.

Offside, Manchester United. Alexis Sánchez tries a through ball, but Marcus Rashford is caught offside.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Eric Bailly.

Booking

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Scott McTominay (Manchester United) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Paul Pogba replaces Michael Carrick.

Scott McTominay (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Will Hughes (Watford).

Attempt missed. Richarlison (Watford) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Daryl Janmaat with a cross.

Attempt saved. Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by José Holebas with a cross.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Matteo Darmian.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by José Holebas.

Offside, Manchester United. Alexis Sánchez tries a through ball, but Juan Mata is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Scott McTominay.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Ander Herrera replaces Daley Blind.

Offside, Manchester United. Marcus Rashford tries a through ball, but Juan Mata is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Roberto Pereyra (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Troy Deeney.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Nathaniel Chalobah replaces Andre Gray.

Attempt missed. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Daley Blind.

Offside, Watford. Will Hughes tries a through ball, but Andre Gray is caught offside.

Booking

Scott McTominay (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Scott McTominay (Manchester United).

Richarlison (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Manchester United. Marcus Rashford tries a through ball, but Juan Mata is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Troy Deeney replaces Gerard Deulofeu.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Luke Shaw replaces Ashley Young.

Booking

Ashley Young (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ashley Young (Manchester United).

Daryl Janmaat (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Andre Gray (Watford) because of an injury.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Adrian Mariappa.

Attempt missed. Roberto Pereyra (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Attempt blocked. Michael Carrick (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Second Half

Second Half begins Manchester United 1, Watford 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Manchester United 1, Watford 0.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City3832421062779100
2Man Utd38256768284081
3Tottenham38238774363877
4Liverpool382112584384675
5Chelsea382171062382470
6Arsenal381961374512363
7Burnley381412123639-354
8Everton381310154458-1449
9Leicester381211155660-447
10Newcastle38128183947-844
11Crystal Palace381111164555-1044
12Bournemouth381111164561-1644
13West Ham381012164868-2042
14Watford38118194464-2041
15Brighton38913163454-2040
16Huddersfield38910192858-3037
17Southampton38715163756-1936
18Swansea3889212856-2833
19Stoke38712193568-3333
20West Brom38613193156-2531
View full Premier League table

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