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Ratings: De Gea MOTM after some great saves; Varane and Greenwood also in contention in Wolves victory

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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.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Not really tested on goal in the first half despite Wolves having the majority of the shots. Made a few good saves, including a quick-fire double save in the second half, which kept United in the match. Man of the Match for me today. Glad to see the real De Gea back.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Blocked what could have been a goal, which was good to see. Should be putting more of a shirt further forward, but he's a defensive fullback, which is his strong point. United's attack was not the best today.

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19 Raphael Varane

Made his presence known in the first half and seemed assured defensively. Clean sheet, assist and a contender for Man of the Match but De Gea took it for me. Great debut and can't wait to see more of him this season.

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5 Harry Maguire

Dominant in defence, both aerially and on the ground. Has found a new partner which should be great for United. Wolves were the better side for much of the match but United got a smash and grab and got the three points, which is the important part.

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23 Luke Shaw

Not his best day on the left but he played his part. Took one for the team early on - straight in the family jewels. Did more defending than attacking today, which will inevitably be needed throughout the season, at stages.

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17 Fred

Lost possession five times in the first half alone, won one of six ground duels and was dribbled past four times. Midfield enforcer is not what Fred is. Terrible performance and the only light is that both De Gea and Wan-Bissaka saved his skin.

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6 Paul Pogba

Played a deeper role and his output suffered because of it. Not the formation for him, but things could change after the international break. He was better in the second half as he played further forward. He's had an impressive start to the season though.

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25 Jadon Sancho

His first start may not be memorable with him scoring or assisting a goal but he played his part with 87.5% pass success, but that was his main positive. He made an error which led to a shot and was not successful with his dribble attempt or hie duels. It is early days for him but that won't stop the negative fans from writing him off already. It takes time to find perfection. Replaced by Martial in the 72nd minute.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Not having the best match for United. Booked for dissent and seem annoyed about that at the break. Found the back of the net but was ruled offside. A frustrating day for the Portuguese magnifico.

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Ratings: De Gea MOTM after some great saves; Varane and Greenwood also in contention in Wolves victory

The Welsh winger did not have the best performance against Wolves. He lost the ball ten times, committed one foul, had one shot off target and crossed the ball twice - facing to find a teammate twice. He had one key pass which came to nothing and showed a weakness at this level. Perhaps a loan spell away from United might benefit him? He was replaced by Cavani in the 54th minute.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Had the chance to score at the end of the first half and although he beat his man, his shot was low and wide, which was a shame. Got his goal ten minutes from time, scoring his third goal in three matches. What a season he is going to have if it continues like this. Another Man of the Match contender, but De Gea gets iit ahead of him.

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Substitutes

21 Edinson Cavani

Replaced James 54'. Covered a lot of the pitch but in terms of playing with the ball, he did not see much of it. He's rusty and will take time for him to be fully match fit.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Sancho 72'. Another worrying sign with the Frenchman having no impact in this match. One of these days he will be surplus to requirements, if not already. His form is worrying, he does not seem to want to put it right - at least that is how it feels.

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20 Diogo Dalot

Replaced Greenwood 90'. Came on at the death of the match and played added time to add more defensive surety to the team. Booked for a challenge but that does not matter. United got the result they needed.

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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

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