Manchester United vs Wolves Summary
Manchester United left it late to beat Wolves 1-0 at Old Trafford. A drab draw converted into a crucial three points as a deflected Rashford goal sealed the win. The game was short of true chances as United only had two real chances to score. Wolves did cause some problems on the counter but none the defence or David de Gea couldn’t deal with. United dealt with Wolves well but failed to push the Old Gold defence for the majority of the game. Saiss and Coady were excellent and the young fullbacks played well.
As Maguire said after the match, this was a game last season United would have drawn or even lost on the counter. It shows how much the team has come that they can win ugly and stay focused all game against such tough opponents. The three points takes United second and just two points off Liverpool. It is obviously early in the season and there’s still over 60% of the season to play. But the fact United are so close in the title race going into January is a massive statement and one United have truly failed to make since Sir Alex retired. With three more home games to play before the trip to Anfield and United need to win all three. Especially if they are serious in mounting a bid for trophies.
Manchester United vs Wolves Player Ratings
David de Gea 8.5/10
Made two big saves to deny Ait-Nouri and Saiss but ones he should be expected to make. A fourth clean sheet in the league for the Spaniard.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 7/10
An indifferent game. He lost Ait-Nouri twice during the game and twice it led to a chance for Wolves. Against wingbacks and a striking partnership he undeniably picks up the striker and not the fullback. Whether you argue Greenwood takes on the fullback or not, Wan-Bissaka has to be more aware of his surroundings. Other than those points he defended very well and stopped Neto a few times. Podence didn’t give him much trouble either.
Eric Bailly 9/10
A dominant performance from Bailly. He was brilliant in every aspect! Almost won a penalty from a brilliant leap at a corner but it was fairly not given. A massive set of games for Bailly and he needs to keep fit while Lindelof recovers. We need solid competition at centre back because four league clean sheets after 15 games is not good enough.
Harry Maguire 8.5/10
Only lower than Bailly because of a moment with Traore where he was left red-faced but other than that, Maguire was as solid as he has been since the Spurs game. Another great performance from the captain. I do hope he is rested against Watford because he will need all his energy for the trip to Anfield.
Alex Telles 7/10
A few dangerous crosses and decent linkup play with Rashford. He did allow the counter attack in the first half so I understand why he was taken off. He is still adjusting to the physicality and pace of the Premier League.
Nemanja Matic 8.5/10
The first half an hour was painful as Matic sat back and played laterally. However the last hour of the game, Matic was brilliant and got United flowing. He starts seasons and matches at an equally sluggish pace but is finding his rhythm now and is a crucial squad player as United rotate during the heavy fixture list.
Paul Pogba 8/10
Another disciplined performance from Pogba. Tried to offer more in the first half but yielded limited results. The second half was better as he played more advanced, incidentally when Matic started playing better too. Had a decent chance to score but forced a good save from Patricio. I would like to see him start against Villa and continue his good form.
Bruno Fernandes 7/10
A trying night for Bruno. He missed a glorious chance but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he was stretching for it. A lovely assist and decent linkup with the team. His crosses were poor but the fact he keeps trying and trying is exactly why he is our most dangerous player.
Mason Greenwood 7/10
Took some good positions and put in a lovely ball for Bruno. I hope he does that more as otherwise I don’t see why he plays as wide as he did. Came off for Martial as he is looking for his form again but I don’t doubt he will find it soon enough.
Marcus Rashford 8/10
Kept having a go at Wolves and mostly finding himself swarmed and lost the ball as a result. But the boy’s a game winner and won the match for United last night. A bit of luck but it’s his third 90+ winner in a red shirt. How’s that for Manc born and bred!
Edinson Cavani 6.5/10
A quiet night. Offered plenty of movement and energy but failed to make it count. I think more credit goes to the Wolves defence for stopping him than criticism to Cavani.
Luke Shaw 8/10
Solid cameo. Played very well defensively and offered an outlet in attack too. The criticism we have had of Luke Shaw is that he can either play well in attack or play well defensively and never do both in one game. He is starting to do so now and the added competition of Telles has seen to that.
Anthony Martial 7/10
A decent thirty for Martial. Offered width and smart passing and runs in and around the box. Caused some problems but not for Patricio. Should start against Villa.
Scott McTominay N/A
Man of the Match: Eric Bailly
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 8/10
Tactically solid. He knew Wolves would sit in a 7-3 formation defensively and there’s no excuse for not knowing that some teams will do that…Pogba and Bruno needed to get on the ball in advanced areas and the patience game was wearing Wolves down eventually. In the first half, the passing was slow but improved in the second. Shaw coming on prevented Traore from causing problems and Martial offered more width on the left and Rashford on the right added direct play.
Ole will be happy with this performance as an ugly win is better than a dazzling draw. United need to push on next game and keep the pressure on. They drew at home to Villa last season due to defensive errors and so another focused performance is desperately needed on the 1st.