Manchester United beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 at the Molineux Stadium on Sunday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave Raphael Varane his debut, also starting Jadon Sancho for the first time. It looked ropey from the start as Wolves seemed to control the game in the early stages with Fred looking the weak link in the centre of the midfield. It was a pretty lacklustre encounter until the 80th minute when Mason Greenwood scored his third goal of the season on the opening three matches. Varane assisted in the goal and also helped to keep a clean sheet but it was David De Gea’s heroics that saved the day for United with his two quick-fire saves showing the best of his ability once again. This could be the start of something good for United and De Gea this season. The international break comes now with a rest for some.
Wolves started the match at a canter pushing forward from the very first minute of the match. How they did not score was only down to their poor finishing. United just did not have the presence in midfield to control the game and Fred started with another stinker, although he did get better as theme grew on but he’s still not the answer to the midfield problems. I don’t think Fred should be playing as he lets the team down with poor passing and bad decision-making, although he has been largely positive since the mistake he made that could have cost United. Something needs to give as this midfield will end up letting United down this season and it will not matter what forwards are playing, the lack of control in the midfield is problematic and should be a lot better than this. United were lucky to end the first half not conceding a single goal.
There were no changes by either team at the start of the second half, although that should have happened for United with Fred having such a bad match and Daniel James not all that far behind him. Raphael Varane shows his defensive ability in the 52nd minute to make an important block to stop a goal scoring chance from being created by Wolves, which shows why Solskjaer has brought him to United. Cracking show of hunger and desire to stop United from going one down. United made their first substitution in the 54th minute of the match with Edinson Cavani making his first appearances this season, replacing Daniel James, who had been more of a hindrance than a help in this match. A loan spell away from the club, unless he was to be sold, might benefit him moving forward but he’s below the level he should be in the Premier League at this time.
Wolves were still banging on the door in the 68th minute of the match, winning a corner and pressing for he opening goal. David De Gea made two quick fire saves to deny them from taking the lead, which could signal the rise of his form once again, which is a positive from the match at this stage. United need to find something otherwise it could be another embarrassing match again which will just signal to the muppets that want Solskjaer to be sacked to continue their monotonous moronic tone just so they can say they were right. Solskjaer made his second substitution of the match with Anthony Martial replacing Jadon Sancho, who had an energetic match but was unable to help United break the deadlock. Hopefully, the Frenchman will raise his form and help United into a winning position, rather than this stagnant draw at this stage of the match.
United opened the scoring in the 80th minute through none other than Mason Greenwood who has scored his third goal in three matches so far this season. The assist came from Raphael Varane on his debut. There was a slight delay to the celebration as Ruben Neves seemed to be hurt following a clash with Paul Pogba but on review, the goal was allowed as the Portuguese midfielder seemed to be initially alright, taking a few steps before feigning injury. He was booked a minute later with Romain Saiss and Fred also being booked. United has their goal and probably needed more to avert the three of Wolves, despite them being poor in this match. Solskjaer made his final change in the 89th minute of the match with Diogo Dalot replacing Greenwood with United looking to defend their lead in what could be their 28th match unbeaten on the road in the league.
There was a flurry of bookings in added time with Morgan Gibbs-White, Diogo Dalot and Paul Pogba all being shown a yellow card for various things. United were still defending their lead and Wolves were still poor and deserving of the result in this match. Having more attempts but being poor at it does not mean that you deserve anything special from the match It is the goals that count and United scored one of those with their one Star Boy finding the back of the net in each of the first three Premier League matches this season. United ground out the win, an important three points which sees them rise to third in the league this season. Arsenal, Norwich City and Wolves sit at the bottom with nil points. Newcastle United are on the cards for United on the 11 September which could also be the second debut of one Cristiano Ronaldo.
Goals: Mason Greenwood 80′
Assists: Raphael Varane 80′
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Pogba; Sancho (Martial 72′), Fernandes, James (Cavani 54′); Greenwood (Dalot 90′)
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Lindelof; Mata, Lingard, Matic, Van de Beek
Bookings: Ruben Neves 81′, Romain Says 84′, Morgan Gibbs-White 90+2′; Bruno Fernandes 44′, Fred 84′, Diogo Dalot 90+3′, Paul Pogba 90+3′
Written by John Walker