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Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard believes the last-gasp winner against Watford on Saturday sent out a strong statement of intent to their title rivals.
While Arsenal slipped up at West Brom and Manchester City were thrashed by Liverpool, United dug out a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road thanks to an injury-time own goal from Troy Deeney.
Deeney thought he had snatched a draw when he cancelled out Memphis Depay's opener with an 87th-minute penalty, but the Hornets captain undid his good work by bundling in Bastian Schweinsteiger's shot-cum-cross minutes later.
Lingard told ManUtd.com:
It's massive. It's a bit of a statement to the other teams, who will look at this and see we've won. It puts a bit more pressure on them, but it's a good feeling to be back up there.
It was a great way to end the game. I thought it was a scrappy match overall, the conditions didn't help, but we had to keep our concentration throughout and it's great to get the win.
There are a lot of games coming up, we've got a lot of injuries at the moment and have to adapt to that, I thought we did that well today. As long as we win as many games as we can over Christmas, I think we'll be fine.
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Man United moved to the Premier League summit thanks to Bastian Schweinsteiger's late winner at Watford in Saturday's lunchtime kick-offRead the full story ›
Memphis Depay latched onto a delightful ball from Ander Herrera to give Man United an early lead over Watford.
The Dutch international offered the perfect response to Louis van Gaal's criticism of his performances for United this season, by volleying past Heurelho Gomes from close range.
With captain Wayne Rooney missing through illness, United started today's early kick-off without a recognised striker but lead 1-0 after half an hour.
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Louis van Gaal admits Memphis Depay has not lived up to expectations since his £25million move to Manchester United.Read the full story ›
Louis van Gaal is suffering from a striker shortage ahead of Manchester United's Premier League game at Watford.Read the full story ›
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick will miss their game with Watford on Saturday.
In the absence of their main strikers James Wilson is set to lead the line for Van Gaal's side but the Dutchman says he won't be able to last 90 minutes due to a "lack of match rhythm".
Van Gaal confirmed Rooney was ill, he said: "Wayne Rooney was also ill after the international break.
"I only saw him the day after he played then he was at home yesterday so I think he can't play."