Man United let three points slip away last night after missing a penalty when drawing 1-1 with Wolves, which could have seen them go top of the table!
Wolves hosted Man United last night, in a fixture that saw the home side win 2-1 at Molyneux twice last season. Ole’s side took on Wolves twice in the space of three weeks last season in the Premier Leauge and the FA Cup and both times came away losers. Last night was about putting that behind them and getting a good result early on in the league.
United won their first game of the season, beating Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford. Wolves drew 0-0 with Leicester, but after last season displays United knew this wasn’t going to be an easy fixture.
Both sides have full strength sides out, but Wolves had to deal with playing in Europa League qualifiers either side of this match too.
Wolves vs Man United
Man United started the much stronger of the two sides. Wolves had 28% possession in the first 20 minutes, seemingly happy to sit back and let the visitors have the ball. Daniel James got his first start for the club and looked lively at the start. However, he was booked around about 20 minutes in for diving. Replays showed there was minimal contact if any but only the player will be able to say if he dived or not.
United made their early dominance count in the 27th minute. Good link-up play with Rashford, Shaw and Martial saw the French striker through on goal. He smashed the ball into the roof of the nett with his left foot from a tight angle. This is his second goal of the Premier League season as he adapts to life as a striker once again wearing the number nine shirt.
Half time came and the visitors had put on a fantastic display. But, they knew they couldn’t sit back as Wolves are a good side and the game could easily be turned on its head. The hosts made a half time substitution, the ill Doherty coming off for Adama Traore.
The pace winger seemed to make the difference. He runs down the right-wing causing Shaw all sorts of problems. Wolves started the better of the two sides and nearly equalised through Raul Jiminez. The Mexican flicked on a free-kick that looked destined for the goal but the post turned it away.
Wolves kept up the pressure and got the equaliser through Ruben Neves. The ball fell to him on the edge of the box from a corner and he smashed it into the top right corner. This has become somewhat of a trademark goal for the Portuguese midfielder. Last season he scored more goals outside the box (4) than he had touches in the opposition box (3) for the whole year!
This seemed to wake United up and they then upped their game. A good run by Pogba won his side a penalty after Coady clipped him in the box. Last season Pogba was the penalty taker, but he had missed a few. In the game against Chelsea, Rashford took United’s penalty and found the back of the net. Many thought he would take this one. After a brief discussion between the two, it appeared that it would now be Pogba taking it. He went for a more conventional run up this time but it Patricio got down well to keep it out and make sure the game finished 1-1.
Many pundits were confused by what they had seen. If Rashford took the penalty last week surely he is the designated penalty taker? Even if he isn’t, surely he should take this one after scoring the last penalty Man United had?
These questions were put to Solskjaer who said that they are both the penalty takers. They decide between the two of them as to who is feeling most confident to take it at the time. This decision came under much criticism and was described as weak management. It remains to be seen whether Solskjaer will choose a penalty taker, or keep it as it is.
Inexplicable that Pogba should take the penalty after Rashford took one and scored last week. As a striker that would absolutely do my head in. Particularly if they miss.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 19, 2019
Man United will be looking to put it right this weekend when they host Crystal Palace. Last year they drew 0-0 but go into this game as the favourites on Bet365. They are the 4/11 favourites with Palace priced at 15/2. United will be looking to move up the table and try and get themselves into the top four already. This has to be their aim for the season and they are 1/1 to get in on Bet365. Ambitiously they could be aiming for the title after a fairly positive start and their new signings fitting in well. They are 33/1 to win the Premier League this season.
Wolves are at home again this Sunday against Burnley. They will be looking to get their first win of the season after drawing their opening two. This game will be a close one but Wolves are the favourites at 4/5 on Bet365. Burnley, who have won one and lost one, are at 15/4 to win at Molyneux. Wolves should finish in the top half this season and could even push Chelsea for a top-six spot. They are 7/2 to go one place higher than last season, and if they can play against the top six like they did last season there’s no reason they can’t!