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Manchester United 1-0 Wolves: 5 Talking Points as Red Devils go second with late win | Premier League 2020-21 

Marcus Rashford celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Wolverhampton Wanderers
Marcus Rashford celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Wolverhampton Wanderers
Ishu Roy
ANALYST
Modified 30 Dec 2020, 05:45 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Manchester United left it late to grab all three points against an upbeat Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford. Marcus Rashford's stoppage-time winner steered the Red Devils to second in the Premier League, two points off leaders Liverpool.

It was far from easy for Manchester United. They, however, dug in and probed until the end with various attacking routes and options.

Rashford's strike was their latest winning strike in the PL since 2009 when Michael Owen netted the decisive goal against Manchester City.

Manchester United have now extended their home unbeaten run against Wolves in the league to 10 matches, with seven clean sheets in this period.

On that note, we analyze the major talking points from Manchester United's late win against Wolves.


#1 Wolves' front two cause early hiccups

Pedro Neto
Pedro Neto's mobility troubled Manchester United early on.

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rang in six changes to his Manchester United side, Wolves tweaked their entire system to combat the hosts' dynamic attacking outlet.

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Off the ball, as one would expect, they set up with a back five and three midfielders in Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves, and young Vitinha. They enveloped the pitch's heart and helped their side gain control, with the latter assisting a front two of Pedro Neto and Adama Traore.

Vitinha tested David de Gea once, but Traore's thinking runs early on, and Neto's interchangeability across the front line, confused the Red Devils.

Neto's right-footed hit and Ruben Neves's long-range effort meant that De Gea was by far the busiest goalkeeper in the opening exchanges.

Not to mention, Romain Saiss' headed effort off a free-kick in the 23rd minute was denied by the bar.


#2 Manchester United's slowness allows Wolves to settle

Paul Pogba could not impose his influence on the game in the first-half for Manchester United.
Paul Pogba could not impose his influence on the game in the first-half for Manchester United.

The first-half's scoreline suggested that the fixture could go either way, but Nuno Espirito Santo would undoubtedly have been the happier of the two managers.

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Vitinho, whenever paused or observed, was man-to-man with Paul Pogba in his own third. He allowed Pogba to have the ball in deeper positions, but the Frenchman remained ponderous and lacked the incision.

There was a visible lack of urgency from Manchester United, who not only struggled to move it about quicker but also lacked sharpness. The same was portrayed through the failed one-twos between Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes came closest to scoring when Mason Greenwood produced perhaps the only moment of quality from Manchester United's perspective with a stunning cross from the right-hand side.

The Premier League giants also looked extremely vulnerable on the counter and on set-pieces, as Saiss almost managed to break the deadlock later on in half.


Also read: Manchester United set to sign £210,000/week Barcelona star in January - Reports.

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Published 30 Dec 2020, 05:45 IST
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