Report: Wolves 1 United 2
Manchester United ended the 2020/21 Premier League season with a hard-fought victory over a strong Wolves side at Molineux as the Reds made it a whole campaign unbeaten away from home.
Youngster Anthony Elanga netted his first goal for the senior team with a fine headed finish, before Nelson Semedo levelled for the hosts.
VAR intervened on the stroke of half-time when Donny van de Beek was tripped by Romain Saiss and referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot after checking the pitchside monitor.
Juan Mata coolly dispatched the penalty to give the Reds an excellent victory on the final day of the Premier League.
FIRST HALF - ELANGA AND MATA ON THE MARK
With Wednesday’s Europa League final very much in mind, Ole made a raft of changes to his starting XI and brought in a number of players who needed some minutes and gave opportunities to a couple of youngsters from the start, namely Amad and Elanga.
And it was Elanga who caught the eye from the off, indeed the 19-year-old could have had a hat-trick inside 13 minutes. The impressive Alex Telles put the youngster through on goal on six minutes with a sublime crossfield pass, but Elanga just couldn’t get the ball under control. Two minutes later, he was well found by Daniel James and Elanga showed great footwork to make space in the box, but he blasted over with the goal gaping.
He made no mistake on 13 minutes, however, as United took the lead brilliantly. Telles slipped the ball into James on the wing and his superb left-footed centre was met by a bullet header from Elanga.
Wolves enjoyed a bit more possession as the half wore on, but the Reds looked well in control at the back and continued to be a threat on the counter-attack. Six minutes from the break, however, the hosts were level. The ball dropped to Fabio Silva as Wolves headed forward and he picked out Semedo to clip home, via a slight deflection, for his first goal for the club.
The Reds responded well as half-time approached as Brandon Williams, put through by Nemanja Matic, saw his strong shot well saved by Rui Patricio, before Telles fired the follow-up over.
The action was not about to end there as van de Beek went down in the box under a challenge from Saiss. Referee Dean didn't initially give a penalty, but VAR intervened and suggested the referee take another look on the pitchside monitor. A spot-kick was rightly given and Mata sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to put the Reds back in front. It was a poignant moment for our no.8 who pointed to sky in tribute to his late mother as he was engulfed by his jubilant team-mates.
SECOND HALF - REDS REMAIN UNBEATEN AWAY FROM HOME
There were no changes for either side at the break but it was Wolves who dominated the early proceedings. Nevertheless, there were no major moments of danger for the Reds with Henderson just having a tame header from William Jose to collect.
Indeed, it was United who created the best opening on 58 minutes as Matic found Amad and he put James through on goal, but he couldn’t keep his attempted flicked finish on target as the ball rolled well wide.
Fabio Silva found himself through on goal on 77 minutes, but Axel Tuanzebe did brilliantly to get back and clear the danger. Minutes later, Wolves' no.17 was thwarted again by Tuanzebe as he took aim twice from inside the box, but there was no mercy from the United defender.
Hannibal came on for his first-team debut eight minutes from time, in place of matchwinner Mata, while Shola Shoretire replaced Amad. Will Fish also made his bow late on, replacing James.
Wolves maintained the pressure in search for an equaliser, but United held firm to make it a whole league season unbeaten on the road, with a victory the perfect preparation for Wednesday night's Europa League final. Now all eyes turn to Villarreal and Gdansk.
United's teenage Premier League scorersGallery
Check out the teen Reds who have scored in the division after Anthony Elanga added his name to the list...
Wolves: Rui Patricio, Boly, Coady (c), Saiss, Nelson Semedo, Dendoncker (Gibbs-White 60), Joao Moutinho, Ait Nouri (Marcal 83), Neves, Traore (Jose 27), Silva.
Subs not used: Ruddy, Hoever, Vitinha, Kilman, Sondergaard.
Scorer: Semedo 39.
Booked: Ait Nouri, Dendoncker, Boly, Gibbs-White.
United: Henderson, Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles, Matic (c), van de Beek, Amad (Shoretire 82) Mata (Hannibal 82), Elanga, James (Fish 90+5).
Subs not used: Grant, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Greenwood, Rashford.
Scorers: Elanga 13, Mata (pen) 45+4