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"Luck will arrive when she wants to": Mourinho's Man Utd fail again


Manchester United’s third defeat in eight days – and their first by Watford in 30 years – has left Jose Mourinho contemplating his worst run in management for a decade after a 3-1 drubbing in the Premier League.

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It was as much the shapeless performance as the reverse that will trouble Mourinho, who last lost three competitive games in regulation time in 2006.

Since then the Special One has become the Beaten One, defeated in 11 of his past 21 Premier League games with Chelsea and Manchester United.

Mourinho is not the only manager under pressure with David Moyes’ Sunderland, beaten 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur, and Stoke City’s Mark Hughes, whose side were thumped 4-1 away to Crystal Palace, staring up from the bottom of the table.

But, as ever, it is the Portuguese attracting the headlines, particularly on a weekend in which Pep Guardiola recorded his eighth straight win as Manchester City manager.

After five games City are top with 15 points, ahead of Everton on 13. Spurs are third on 11 followed by Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, all with 10.

On Sunday, United never looked comfortable at Vicarage Road from the moment Anthony Martial – still groggy from an earlier clash of heads – was bundled off the ball in the lead-up to Watford’s opener for Etienne Capoue.

Mourinho thought the goal should have been disallowed.

“It was an obvious situation but it is something I cannot control. I cannot improve the referees or officials and luck will arrive when she wants to. But, yes, individual performances have to improve,” he said.

Watford’s other goals from Juan Zuniga in the 83rd minute and a late Troy Deeney penalty owed more to poor defending after Marcus Rashford had equalised just past the hour mark.

Although United’s world-record signing Paul Pogba unleashed one fizzing shot against the bar, the midfielder failed to stamp his authority on the game and was outshone by Capoue.

The result moved Watford to within two points of seventh-placed United, who appear to lack the solidity normally associated with Mourinho’s teams.

United’s latest setback follows a 2-1 home defeat by Guardiola’s City in the Manchester derby and a 1-0 loss at Feyenoord in their first Europa League group stage game.

Capoue’s former side Spurs remain unbeaten in the league and are up to third, four points behind leaders City after grinding out a victory over an improved Sunderland team.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side were in dominant mood, making 19 first-half chances before striker Harry Kane finally broke the deadlock just before the hour mark.

One sour note saw the England striker carried off on a stretcher after injuring his ankle.

The 23-year-old was later seen leaving the stadium on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his right foot.

“We will assess him (on Monday). It was tough, he twisted the ankle,” Pochettino said.

“Now he feels pain and we see tomorrow. It’s painful and we need to wait.

“I’m sure there may be a problem with his ligaments but it’s difficult to assess today. We need to wait.”

Sunderland had Adnan Januzaj sent off late on for a second bookable offence.

Elsewhere, there was relief for Southampton manager Claude Puel after substitute Charlie Austin secured a 1-0 home win over Swansea City – their first in the league under the Frenchman – with his third goal in as many days after a Europa League brace.

-Reuters, PA

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