In his stead, Darren Fletcher returned from an ankle injury sustained in Tuesday's win at Bursaspor. More surprising was the inclusion of Hargreaves for his first start since September 2008. Stationed out on the right wing, however, the 29-year-old lasted under four minutes on his return to action, seemingly pulling his left hamstring as he flicked a cross into the visitors' penalty area.
Despite brief attempts to run off the injury, Hargreaves was soon replaced by Bebe, who scored his first United goal in the Reds' recent Carling Cup victory over Wolves. The Portuguese winger was heavily involved early on, with the majority of the game played down United's right hand side.
However, perhaps understandable given the relative unfamiliarity of United's front six, Wolves enjoyed plenty of the pressure. Matt Jarvis, who impressed at Old Trafford 11 days ago, was again a livewire on the wing, while similarly eye-catching displays came from industrious midfielder David Edwards and lone striker Kevin Doyle.
Wolves pressed aggressively. Karl Henry pounced on a short clearance from Edwin van der Sar, only to watch his 40-yard return sail into the arms of the retreating Dutchman, who soon afterward fielded a deflected Doyle header with complete comfort.
United briefly sparked into life around the quarter-hour mark, as Bebe's goal-bound shot was superbly blocked by Richard Stearman and Park curled comfortably over the bar after a melee on the edge of the visitors' area.
Nevertheless, the majority of the play was applied by Wolves, who grew in confidence as the game advanced and repeatedly poured forward in numbers, despite an apparent surfeit of midfielders. United still carried menace on