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.
There have been many positives so far this season, despite this being the second Premier League match of the season. United are unbeaten, have four points on the board, have scored five goals, conceding just one so far. Looking back at the disaster that was last season will be necessary and so far, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done well, as has his squad.
Harry Maguire is such an improvement on Phil Jones and Chris Smalling – finding a good partnership with Victor Lindelof.
Last weekend after the 4-0 victory over Chelsea, Harry Maguire was one of the positive things to be written about. The £80 million-man continued his form against Wolves, putting himself in the firing line to make the clearances needed to thwart the side from scoring against United. Ruben Neves’ goal was something that could not be stopped, however, Maguire did thwart Wolves many other times. There was a hairy moment which could have cost United by David De Gea made up for it with Maguire redeeming himself moments later. He is going to be a great signing for United. Assured on the ball. Calm under pressure. A rock at the back.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka marauding forward from the right-back position is going to annoy many opposition defenders this season.
The £45 million arrival from Crystal Palace, who incidentally are United’s next opposition at Old Trafford on Saturday, is going to be a great signing for United. The supporters are impressed with his ability, both on and off the ball and his pace is causing problems for the opposition, who can find themselves exposed with United’s new-found pace in the squad. Wan-Bissaka, as long as he continues his development, will become one of, if not the best right-back in the Premier League and certainly an option for Gareth Southgate and the England squad.
There might need to be a bit more thought about who takes the penalties for Manchester United this season.
Paul Pogba won a penalty for United and despite Marcus Rashford scoring from the spot at Old Trafford against Chelsea last weekend, Pogba took the penalty against Wolves. He shot straight towards the diving Rui Patricio, who stopped United from going 2-1, clearing the ball out of the Wolves area with his save. There was some discussion between Rashford and Pogba before the penalty was taken, something which Sky Sports made a meal out of. United though, might need to have a better plan for penalties. Rashford has taken three in his career, scoring all of them; two for United and one for England. Pogba has a good record, scoring many last season, missing a few too. Perhaps a goalscorer should be taking the penalties this season. Perhaps it will be addressed by Solskjaer ahead of the next match?
Youth seems to be returning to this Manchester United side this season, the DNA reunited with the club once again.
The average of the team which started against Wolves was 24 years and 173 days. Solskjaer seems to value youth over everything else, with many overage players resigned to a place on the bench with the younger players starting the match and tasked to throw all they have at their opposition. Starting against Wolves was Aaron Wan-Bissaka (21), Luke Shaw (24), Scott McTominay (22), Daniel James (21), Marcus Rashford (21), and Anthony Martial (23). Off the bench came Mason Greenwood (17), and Andreas Pereira (23). There are many more youth players who have not yet been involved, but this is a clear philosophy for Solskjaer, which will be great to see once again.
Anthony Martial is confident, nearing his devastating best which could be the difference in United achieving or underachieving.
Anthony Martial prayed some great football against Wolves at the Molineux, added to how he did against Chelsea just over a week ago will suggest that he is getting close to being back at his best, which will be important this season with United seeking to score many goals, ensuring that they get points on the board, to catch up with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, and Arsenal. Martial’s form could be the difference in this being a good season or one with more improvement necessary.
United will be back in action in the Premier League on Saturday, a traditional 15:00 BST kickoff at the Theatre of Dreams against Crystal Palace, the former club of Wan-Bissaka. The London club will be seeking to get the better of United, with United seeking to return to winning ways after a frustrating game, with many positives, against Wolves.