Manchester United were made to work hard to earn an unceremonious 0-0 draw at Wolves to set up a replay of the Third Round of the FA Cup.
Manchester United went to Molineux knowing well enough that they had never won at the stadium under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Wolves had a plan of their own, to beat Manchester United and progress to the next round of the FA Cup, which looked the likelier result, given the two starting lineups.
Manchester United dominated the first half and Wolves dominated the second, with the best chance of the night falling to Matt Doherty, whose effort was saved by Sergio Romero. United were denied a penalty in the first half when Brandon Williams was obstructed in the box by Leander Dendoncker. In the end, it ended all square in what could be justified as a fair result bar the penalty shout.
We take a look at how the Manchester United players fared on the night.
Sergio Romero – 8
Busier of the two goalkeepers on the field, Romero came up with a huge stop to deny Wolves the lead through Matt Doherty. All in all, a good performance, solidifying his stature as one of the best number twos in club football right now.
Ashley Young – 6
Young looked frazzled by the pace of the wingers and the overlaps of the wing-backs whenever having to defend. Did try his best to get United going from the defence, but just didn’t have enough quality to have an effect.
Harry Maguire – 6.5
Defended well, but Maguire needs to improve on his technical side, which is a bit awkward to note given he was brought in for his technical prowess. Misplaced easy passes, the highlight being his close pass across to Brandon Williams being hit long and going for a throw-in. About time the most expensive defender in the world starts acting like it.
Victor Lindelof – 7.5
The star for Manchester United on Saturday. Lindelof did his best to nullify the threat posed by the Wolves attackers and was successful to a great deal. Was named the Man of the Match at full-time and rightly so. United need regular performances of this level from Lindelof.
Brandon Williams – 7
Genuinely looks like a first-team star now for Manchester United and perhaps, the best left-back option they have right now. Should have got a penalty in the first half after being brought down by Dendoncker and was one of the most influential players on the field.
Nemanja Matic – 6
An average outing for Matic, who did his job well, but looked out of his depth in passing and especially, in counter-attacking situations, often slowing the play down and not be able to find the correct pass or the run of one of his teammates. United need creativity in midfield and Matic, for all the things he is, is sadly not the right one to fill that void.
Andreas Pereira – 6
Pereira is a hit-and-miss kind of player; at least has been one for Manchester United this season so far. But, it’s been more misses than hits. Saturday was another miss from the Brazilian, who often had nothing to offer and was merely watching the game pass him by. Did well as far as pressing is concerned. But, just seems to lack enough quality to be a regular first-teamer for United.
Tahith Chong – 6
One of the stars of the first few minutes for Manchester United on Saturday, Chong almost went invisible as the game wore on and was rightly substituted around the hour mark.
Juan Mata – 6.5
Mata was perhaps the busiest attacker for Manchester United against Wolves on Saturday. Tried to do things and was somehow a bit responsible for most of the attacking traffic United had in the first half.
Daniel James – 6
On a night when the referee had decided not to give any fouls that seemed to have any shred of doubt, Daniel James fell victim to the Wolves players using that to their advantage. There were more than a couple of occasions where he should have had a free-kick. Was not influential otherwise.
Mason Greenwood – 6
Had good chances to convert in the first half but failed to take them. Was more of a passenger in the second half. Could call it an off-night or perhaps a regular performance from a teenager who should be afforded such displays now and then.
Fred – 6.5
Fred seems to have found his circadian rhythm within the Manchester United game style now. The Brazilian doesn’t look out of sorts and looks like he belongs in the midfield of a team like United. Found teammates often with decent lane-breaking passes but could not do much to change the scoreline after coming on.
Marcus Rashford – 7
Came the closest to scoring for Manchester United, with his deflected shot hitting the post.
Diogo Dalot – N/A
Came on for Chong late on and was one of the people who fell suspect to the harrowing hurried pace of the game towards the end, committing fouls and attempting shots that he shouldn’t have.