Wolves 1 Manchester United 1

Monday 19 August 2019 22:15

Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night, in our first away game of the 2019/20 Premier League season.

The Reds had led at the interval thanks to Anthony Martial’s well-worked goal in the 27th minute, but that was ultimately cancelled out by Ruben Neves’s sensational strike in the second period as both sides took a share of the spoils. Paul Pogba subsequently had a chance to win the contest for United but his well-struck penalty was brilliantly saved by the hosts' Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

It took a while for the first chance to materialise after a quiet start to the game, when the visitors dominated possession without creating any real opportunities against a well-organised Wolves defence.

When the first opening did come, it was as a result of a trademark Paul Pogba crossfield pass, as the Frenchman swept the ball out to Marcus Rashford on the left wing. He dummied one way, then the next, completely fooling Ryan Bennett in the process. However, the subsequent cross was marginally ahead of the waiting Martial in the six-yard box.
Summer signing Daniel James made his first competitive start for the Reds.
Soon after, the same combination proved deadly for the Reds. On 27 minutes, Rashford picked the ball up midway inside the opposition half and, after using Luke Shaw’s decoy run to unlock a half-yard of space in the three-man defence, he slipped the ball to Martial.

Inside the box, our no.9 did not need a second invitation. He struck the ball powerfully with his weaker foot, giving the helpless Rui Patricio no chance.

The goal shook Nuno Espirito Santo’s men into life, with first Diogo Jota scaring the United defence with a dangerous run, then moments later Raul Jimenez had a good effort blocked.

But it was United who were still in the ascendancy, as we repeatedly forced Wolves onto the back foot, causing their attacking wing-backs to effectively became orthodox full-backs. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were so dominant in the first half, we enjoyed 70 per cent of possession.

At the break, Wolves introduced Adama Traore in place of the more defensive Matt Doherty. The change instantly gave the Black Country outfit more of an offensive outlook and his cross in the first few minutes of the second half eventually found its way to Jimenez, who poked the ball just wide.

In the 54th minute the Spaniard earned a free-kick and the resultant set-piece was nearly diverted home by Jimenez. The Mexican was unlucky to see his header hit the post - and then David De Gea on the line - before being cleared by the United defence.

However, moments later the hosts were celebrating for real. After a corner was headed away by the Reds, the ball fell to Neves. Renowned for his long-range efforts, the midfielder dropped his shoulder and let rip with a dipping effort that just clipped the crossbar before settling in the back of De Gea's net.

The goal was reviewed by the VAR officials in Stockley Park, and after the now familiar delay, they decided the equaliser should stand.

After a tentative first half, it was now end-to-end at Molineux. United benefited from the next attacking phase of play when, after good work from Martial and Pogba on the edge of the area, the latter skipped into the box and was brought down by Bennett.

Martial put United ahead in the first half.
It was our no.6 who stepped up, but his driven penalty was well saved by Patricio, to the delight of most of the 31,314 fans inside the ground.

Daniel James - starting his first competitive match for the Reds - and then Rashford saw shots blocked by Wolves as the game entered the latter stages.

Traore was still a real menace for the visitors and in the 81st minute he flew down the wing, crossing to opposite wing-back Jonny who headed tamely into De Gea’s arms.

Leander Dendoncker then put the ball on the roof of the United goal, after good build-up play from Diogo Jota on the left flank.

It proved to be the last chance of note in the game as both sides went home with a point - a yield which represents an improvement for Solskjaer's men after last April's league defeat here.
Pogba had a second-half penalty saved by Rui Patricio.

United: De Gea (c); Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; James (Greenwood, 89) Lingard (Mata, 81), Rashford (Andreas, 89); Martial.

Subs not used: Romero, Tuanzebe, Young, Matic.

Scorer: Rashford (27)

Wolves: Rui Patricio; Bennett, Coady (c), Boly; Doherty (Traore, 46), Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Jota (Neto, 86), Jiminez (Cutrone, 90+1).

Subs not used: Ruddy, Vinagre, Saiss, Gibbs-White.

Scorer: Neves (55)

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