defender Rio Ferdinand
might have damaged a toe but his team rarely broke sweat as they continued their sanguine start with a matter-of-fact win against an innocent Watford
who failed to produce the intensity of performance the occasion demanded.
It's fair to mention that fate and the fixture list have decreed that Sir Alex Ferguson's latest attempt to regain the title, which last went to Old Trafford three years ago, should begin amid the Premiership's foothills. Apart from home encounters with Arsenal and Liverpool United's early opponents are of the type more likely to seek survival than glory.
But lets talk about the match. Goals by Mikaël Silvestre and Ryan Giggs on either side of an equaliser by Damien Francis maintained United's 100 per cent record in a match they should have won more comfortably. Sitting on top of the Premiership for the first time in 32 months, they may appear to be missing neither the departed Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy nor the suspended Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes, but must be well aware that there are much tougher challenges to come than those provided so far by Fulham, Charlton or Watford. Indeed, Tottenham and Arsenal are next up after the international break as United attempt to continue their capital punishment.