4 things we learned from Manchester United's FA Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers
Manchester United beat Wolverhampton Wolves 1-0 last night in the replay of the 3rd round FA Cup tie at Old Trafford. Juan Mata scored a late winner, racing onto a pass from Anthony Martial and chipping the keeper late in the second half to send his side through to the next round.
It was the 5th time these sides have gone head-to-head in the past 15 months and finally the team from Manchester has come out on top after 2 draws and 2 defeats at the hands of Nuno Santo's well drilled and highly effective setup. After the game ended 0-0 at Molineux, the replay proved to be much more interesting than its previous iteration.
Wolves youngster Pedro Neto seemed to have given the visitors a lead early in the game but the goal was ruled out by VAR for handball in the buildup by Raul Jimenez. Both the sides saw many opportunities in front of goal with neither being able to hold onto possesion for too long.
Here are 4 observations from the game.
#1 Mata still has a role to play
For about 18 months now, Juan Mata's importance to his team has been under scrutiny as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer transitions his team towards a more high intensity, expansive style of play. The form of Jesse Lingard and the lack of quality provided by Andreas Pereira compounded by the lack of signings in attacking midfield have forced Ole into playing the Spaniard and over the last couple of weeks he has shown he can still just about carry on providing value to the team even though this might not be the case when opponents of an higher ilk come by.
After getting two wonderful assists against Norwich last time out followed by another good showing capped off by a goal against Wolves, it seems that for now he has fought his way back into contention for future matches.