Manchester United drew 1-1 with Wolverhampton Wanderers, thwarting the home side and avoiding a defeat for the third time in a row. Anthony Martial scored his 50th goal for United with Paul Pogba missing a penalty, which could have won the game for United. Ruben Neves scored a great equaliser early in the second half of the game.
United started the half well, happy to keep the ball with Wolves sitting deep in their own half. Daniel James got on the ball in the early stages but his attack was thwarted by Willy Boly. United continued to play some good football, keeping possession but Wolves turned up the pressure when they entered the final third.
In the eighth minute of the match, Wolves sprung on the counter as James lost possession and seemed to be fouled. Raul Jimenez beat two players to break forward, played the ball out to Matt Doherty whose cross into the box was deflected out for a corner. Harry Maguire made the clearance from the corner to take the pressure off for United.
United won a corner in the tenth minute of the match after James got on the front
In the fifteenth minute, Victor Lindelof tried to ping his set-piece from deep to Maguire but put too much on the pass. United had spent more time in the Wolves area that the home side had in United’s, however, there were not creating anything of note. Wolves were happy to break on the counter, which is something United had dealt with in the early stages.
Maguire was having another good match for United, making clearances from Wolves’ pressure. United created an opportunity in the 19th minute with Marcus Rashford turning Ryan Bennett one way, then another, crossing the ball into Anthony Martial, who is seeking his 50th goal for the club. Martial slid in at the back post but could not put United ahead.
Paul Pogba was starting to influence the game in the 21st minute. The Frenchman, on the ball, changed direction drawing Leander Dendoncker into a tackle with Pogba ending up getting caught on his toes. Magure, still having a good game, was playing deep in the Wolves half, getting above Coady but the final ball was easily cleared.
Wolves seemed to be giving a lot of attention to James with the Welshman aiming to break through on the right with his pace. He had been crowded out most of the time. James was then booked for a dive with Joao Moutinho not making a connection with him. United would have to be careful now with Jon Moss now keeping his eye on the player.
In the 27th minute of the match, United opened up the scoring with Martial scoring his 50th goal for the club. Jesse Lingard, Rashford and the Frenchman showed their class in the attack. Shaw found Lingard down the left, who fed Rashford who then slipped the ball into Martial on the left as his smacked his finish high into the goal. Wolves second best so far.
Wolves won a corner in the 32nd minute, testing Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right. He did enough to force the ball behind. From the corner, Jimenez had half a sight of goal on the turn but his effort was blocked by Maguire. United have done well so far with a spring in their step, lots of possession, pressuring Wolves in their area.
James clipped the ball into the Wolves’ area for Martial in the 42nd minute with the home side needing the half time break already. The Frenchman’s first touch took him away from Coady but Boly scrambled clear to avert another goal creation from the visitors. David De Gea has been a spectator so far in the first half.
Just before the whistle blew for half time, Wolves were lucky not to find themselves 2-0 down and Martial seizing on a Bennett pass to the goalkeeper. Boly came sliding in
At the start of the second half, Wolves made a substitution with Adama Traore replacing Doherty. Wolves started the half quickly with more intent on the left. Moutinho fed Jonny, who sent a low drilled cross, which Maguire dealt with. Diogo Jota may have been studded on the calf by James, who might need to be careful now.
Wolves showed yet more attacking verve at the start of the second half than they had in the entire first half. It was short-lived though as United started to pick up where they left off. Wan-Bissaka got down the right, cut a cross for Lingard who tried to take it on the half-volley, but missed. Ruben Neves was booked in the 50th minute for hauling James down.
Wan-Bissaka was more fruitful in the 52nd minute, cutting inside and looked for Lingard in the box. The ball was almost perfect but slid an inch or two past Lingard, who would have had a free shot on goal from 15-yards is he collected the pass. Wolves then won a free-kick with Neves striking the post instead of scoring.
Neves then equalised from outside the box minutes later, placing the ball into the top right corner, beating De Gea easily. The goal was then being reviewed by VAR but the goal was given. United now had a lot to do in order to get back in front in this game or risk another defeat by this Wolves side, which is not something that can be ruled out.
United won a free-kick in the Wolves half in the 62nd minute with Rashford stepping up to take it. Luke Shaw ran over the ball and into the box but Rashford’s strike sent the ball out of play for a goal kick. Minutes later, United had another, which was taken short and dealt with by the Wolves defence. United aiming to step pop their game again.
In the 66th minute, Bennett fouled Rashford on the run, got himself booked with United winning a free-kick. United did well with Pogba running into the box with the ball and Moss giving a penalty after Coady tripped him. VAR didn’t overrule it. Pogba took the penalty; it was saved by Patricio with some power, his save ensuring the ball cleared the box.
United won a corner in the 72nd minute of the match with Shaw pressuring the Wolves defence. Rashford took the corner, sending the ball into the box with Pogba getting a touch and the ball finding its way to Wan-Bissaka, who was a long was out of the area, skying his shot into the stands. United needing to add more pressure at this stage of the game.
It the 78th minute, after Rashford found some space on the left a minute before, pressuring Wolves, United won a corner in search of a second goal. Wolves initially made the clearance with United still on the attack, winning a throw-in, which turned into a free-kick for the home side. Solskjaer was readying a change with Juan Mata on the touchline.
United had some pressure to deal with before the substitution with Traore thundering through to goal and crossing into the box, however, Maguire made the clearance. Lingard made way for Mata in the 81st-minute of the match. Traore was full of beans, using his pace to beat Shaw before picking out Jota, which failed to beat De Gea.
Wan-Bissaka was booked in the 84th minute with Neves trying to release Jonny down the right with a clever pass. Wan-Bissaka stuck a shoulder in the way to derail the counter attack, which was a clear yellow card. Wolves were then piling the pressure on United with around five minutes of the match left. United needed a win to head to the summit of the table.
In the 87th minute, Maguire tried to pass the ball back to De Gea, not putting enough on the ball and Wolves tried to gain from it with De Gea getting on the ball and putting it out of play. That could have been costly for the summer signing. Magure then made up for that mistake, clearing the ball from the box with Wolves pressuring United.
Solskjaer made a double substitution in the 89th minute with James being replaced by Mason Greenwood and Rashford being replaced by Andreas Pereira. Four minutes were added on at the end of the match. Wolves made a second substitution with Jimenez being replaced by Patrick Cutrone. All was still to play for.
United had a chance to create something, playing cleverly around the halfway line, with the ball being played to Mata, who was in the final third, who then lofted an over the top pass into the box with Patricio gathering the ball. Wolves then had a break with United winning back the ball and advancing again, winning a throw-in.
United pushed Wolves to the end with the away side advancing into the area again with Shaw on the ball and running into the box. However, he was offside. Seconds later, Moss blew the whistle for the end of the game. Two matches played, four points on the board, one win and one draw. The missed penalty was a chance to take three points though.
United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday afternoon, with a traditional 15:00 BST kickoff at the Theatre of Dreams against Crystal Palace, which will see Aaron Wan-Bissaka come up against his former club. United will be looking to take all three points from that match in order to keep chance on the teams at the top of the table.
Goals: Ruben Neves 55′; Anthony Martial 27′
Assists: Joao Moutinho 55′; Marcus Rashford 27′
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; James (Greenwood 89′), Lingard (Mata 81′), Rashford (Pereira 89′); Martial
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Young, Tuanzebe; Matic
Bookings: Ruben Neves 51′, Ryan Bennett 67′; Daniel James 24′, Aaron Wan-Bissaka 84′