The 35-year-old provided the assist for Anthony Martial’s goal after the Frenchman had set up Mata for the opener in the first half.
And with Mkhitaryan deployed in the No10 role again by Jose Mourinho following his performance at Leicester, United comfortably saw off their Premier League opponents at Old Trafford.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic wanted to help Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan against Watford
Ibrahimovic, who has more than double the amount of top-flight goals of any of his United colleagues this season, was frustrated not to find the net against Watford.
However, providing confidence to United’s playmakers was a sacrifice he was happy to make.
"It could have been a few more; I wish I could have scored,” Ibrahimovic said.
“I had one or two good chances and I should have scored.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic failed to score against Watford but did turn creator for Anthony Martial
Manchester United player ratings against Watford
Sat, February 11, 2017
Express Sport brings you our Manchester United player ratings from their clash with Watford at Old Trafford
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How did the Manchester United players rate during their clash with Watford?
I got a lot of the ball, tried to create and give stability to the team
"I mean, in these games you don’t get a lot of opportunities and when you get them you need to take them. That’s why I was a little bit disappointed in myself, but I felt good in the game.
"I got a lot of the ball, tried to create and give stability to the team. The only thing I missed was the goal, but I tried to give Mata and Mkhitaryan the option to play around me to give more confidence to the guys."
United will be buoyed by the win over Watford as they head into Thursday’s Europa League knockout clash with Saint Etienne (8.05pm), with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mata and Mkhitaryan all expected to feature.