Amidst uncertainty behind the scenes, Wolves looked inspired under the stewardship of newly-appointed Gary O’Neil. Overpowering the home side at Old Trafford, a lack of clinical finishing and a controversial failure to award a late penalty resulted in Raphael Varane’s 76th-minute header claiming all three points for the home side. Looking forward to Brighton’s trip to Molineux, the performance provides great encouragement for the style of play under the new manager and strengthens the unity and optimism amongst the fans.
Only had two saves to make all game. Came off his line decisively to deny Rashford in the 10th minute and prevent an early deficit. As seen often last season, the occasional panic with the ball at his feet and almost spilled one to an incoming attacker before half-time. Had little opportunity to prevent Varane’s goal.
Rayan Ait Nouri
Again displayed glimpses of his tremendous ability to use quick footwork to escape difficult positions and provide an injection of pace through the centre of the pitch. Booked for “time-wasting” under the new guidelines for officials. Kept Antony quiet with the support of Nunes. Dragged out towards the winger for United’s goal but needed midfield markers to track the run of Wan-Bissaka.
Caught in possession trying to advance from the defence in the first ten minutes leading to a chance. After this, a dominant aerial display alongside Dawson, providing some useful blocks, noticeably from an Antony strike on the stroke of half-time. Did well to find the midfield and attackers to start counter-attacks rather than inviting further pressure.
Another assured performance from the centre-half who limited Rashford to just four touches in the first 20 minutes alongside the captain. Continued to perform well in the second half and cleared off the line in the 57th minute.
Arguably the best player on the pitch as he produced one of his best performances in the Wolves shirt (coincidentally as he finally faces some genuine competition for his place). Drove forward with intent offensively and limited the dangerous Garnacho, and Rashford as they interchanged, to very little. Outjumped by Varane for the goal but very little could be expected of the full-back.
Started slowly and received an early yellow for a late challenge. Grew into the game and became integral to Wolves’ domination of the opposition in the midfield. Covered immense ground in the second half to cover in the back line and also support counter-attacks. The midfield partnership with Gomes looked very promising.
A consistently lively presence that started multiple counter-attacks as his dynamism alongside Lemina and Nunes swallowed the United midfield. Often found himself involved with the forwards in the press and his combative nature suited this. His ability to drive forward with the ball was also displayed as the game became stretched. A crucial player for the team this season.
Pressed well in the opening stages but also found himself misplacing too many passes and caught unnecessarily offside. Lost the ball poorly on the edge of the box on the stroke of half-time and then lost Varane for a free header from the resulting corner. A much-improved performance on the ball in the second half as they drove with the ball and created opportunities, noticeably for Cunha in the 49th minute.
If only he could finish one of his chances. His ability to carry the ball past the opposition was too much for the talents of United on multiple occasions. Could have had a goal and an assist before half-time. His golden opportunity came in the 49th minute, hitting the post when should have found the back of the net. However, this did not stop his endeavor as he continued to impress, but his finishing has to improve to remain as the number nine.
A good supporting run for the advancing Cunha in the 25th minute saw a deflected strike go narrowly passed the post. Good linkup play with Cunha throughout the first half and his technical ability proved too much for Shaw who was booked for fouling him. His performance faded in the second half and overall needs to find himself on the ball more often to remain in the starting lineup, only making 11 passes at 68% accuracy.
Looked much more like his former self, displaying pace, power and a tremendous desire to beat defenders. Contributed well to the press of the United defence and committed them to making fouls, Martinez was booked for this. Booked for dissent towards linesman. Should have scored with the ball falling to his stronger left foot in the box in the 74th minute, straight at Onana.
Hwang Hee-Chan 62′ (Pablo Sarabia)
Beat Wan-Bissaka in 1-vs-1 duels on multiple occasions, went close to scoring at the near post after a deflection and delivered dangerous crosses into the box. Flashed one high and wide, but provides a goal threat when on the pitch.
Fabio Silva 76′ (Pedro Neto)
Two good opportunities to score from close range inside the box, took up clever positions to create these chances for himself. Both shots were struck well but too close to Onana, will be disappointed not to have scored one. Linked the play well and currently looks like the most natural centre-forward.
Hugo Bueno 76′ (Rayan Ait Nouri)
Defended well in the latter stages to overturn possession and beat his man to deliver high-quality balls into the box.
Sasa Kaladjzic 87′ (Joao Gomes)
Great to see him back in a competitive fixture. Blatantly wiped out by Onana from a high ball into the box, officials failed to make the correct decision and apologised to O’Neil. Will be looking for more minutes gradually as the season progresses.