PAUL POGBA’S RETURN and subsequent performance off the bench was the only “plus” in Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat to Watford, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United once again produced a disappointing display against an opponent they would be expected to beat, as rock-bottom Watford gave their survival hopes a boost.

Ismaila Sarr opened the scoring just after half-time when David de Gea allowed his tame volley to squirm into the top corner, before Troy Deeney made it 2-0 from the spot following Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s clumsy tackle on Watford’s first goal-scorer.

Pogba was introduced from the bench for his first appearance in nearly three months and looked comfortably United’s best player.

Although he was unable to inspire a turnaround, Solskjaer considered his performance the only positive from United’s overall display.

“The big plus is Paul coming on, and that’s the one plus,” Solskjaer told BBC Sport. “He added urgency, quality, some great passes.

“The boy has been working hard. He’s fit and leaner. He’ll bring us a lot. He is important for us. He makes us create more chances.”

De Gea’s error proved costly and he also had a lucky escape in the first half when Watford were denied a goal because Craig Cathcart was adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper, though replays suggested it was harsh on the defender.

Solskjaer insisted De Gea is not suffering from a lack of confidence, however.