LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester United went top of the Premier League, at least until the day’s later matches, when they won 2-1 at Watford on Saturday after the hosts’ Troy Deeney equalised with a penalty and then scored an own goal in the dying minutes.
United looked set to win 1-0 after Dutchman Memphis Depay put them ahead in the 11th minute, a lead they held until Deeney equalised from the spot in the 87th after substitute Marcos Rojo brought down Odion Ighalo in the penalty area.
Yet just when Watford appeared to have done enough to secure a point, Deeney diverted a cross from Bastian Schweinsteiger into his own net in stoppage time.
United moved onto 27 points from 13 games, a point ahead of Manchester City and Arsenal and two clear of Leicester City, who are all in action later.
United manager Louis van Gaal said on Friday that his compatriot Depay needed to do more to convince him after a disappointing start to his United career, and the 21-year-old Dutchman responded with his first goal for almost two months.
He broke the deadlock when he connected perfectly with an Ander Herrera cross from the right and volleyed past Heurelho Gomes with his left foot.
Although Watford failed to make much of an impact in the first half, they looked livelier after the break and two efforts from Deeney and one from Etienne Capoue forced United keeper David De Gea into making some smart saves.
There was a solemn moment before the game at Vicarage Road when the players of both sides stood together around the centre circle in silence, while the French national anthem was also played as a mark of respect following last week’s attacks in Paris.
The same pre-match observances will take place at every Premier League ground this weekend.
(Reporting by Mike Collett; editing by Toby Davis)