Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Manchester United: Rating the Red Devils in bore draw at the Molineux | FA Cup 2019-20
Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers will have to do it all over again at Old Trafford, as a dry spell of 90 minutes that lacked enough clear-cut chances ended in a stalemate.
The game was played at pedestrian pace, with no side really stepping up the gas or producing a slew of opportunities. Matt Doherty's far post strike was smothered splendidly by deputy goalkeeper Sergio Romero, while Raul Jimenez struck the frame of goal from a narrow angle as well.
Doherty got onto the scoresheet later on, only for his goal to be chalked off for a handball.
Marcus Rashford almost became the impact substitute when he too, was denied by the woodwork, but Manchester United once again showed glimpses of flat-footed, one-dimensional footballing framework. They've struggled to play with a constant tempo over the fixtures in the last few months, a clear testament of the same being the losses to Arsenal and basement club Watford in the Premier League.
The bitter fact that the English giants couldn't produce an effort on target spoke volumes of a unit clearly lacking the incision and confidence to go out and leave opponents bruised.
In what turned out to be one of the more frustrating games of the FA Cup third round, we rate the Manchester United players in their lacklustre draw at Wolves.
Sergio Romero - 8/10
For a goalkeeper who sparsely spends time on the football pitch in competitive fixtures, that save off Doherty's far post makes you wonder how good he could be. It was spectacular reflexes coupled with strong palms to parry it away. He made a pair of other fine stops, and was the reason United stayed in the game to a notable extent.
Ashley Young - 5/10
Young brought all his experience into the fore, but shared the spoils with a tricky Pedro Neto down the left. Although he didn't allow the Wolves youngster to whip crosses in, Young could have provided more impetus and pace going forward. Satisfactory, but not quite enough on the night.
Victor Lindelof - 7/10
Now, here's a man on top of his game. Lindelof was extremely good in the air and on a physical note. He rubbed shoulders with each of the Wolves forwards, even shutting them off more often than not.
However, a solid contribution that may have gone unnoticed was the way he always got in front of the opposition forward and thwarted danger, most visibly during the latter stages while dealing with a drilled Adama Traore cross.
Harry Maguire - 7/10
Maguire was another one of the better performers for the visitors, having balked Wolves' final balls with conviction time and time again. He offered quite a bit going forward, but none other than his aerial sharpness stood out.
Brandon Williams - 6/10
Williams did supremely well, given his experience, to derail Adama Traore on occasions. He stood firm and although receiving cover, never looked beaten for pace or position down that side. He got his angles right, while also perfectly stationing himself through both the length and breadth perspective.
Williams not to mention, was a real threat going forward. He injected much-needed willingness into the attack, but couldn't supply the game-changing pass.
Andreas Pereira - 4/10
Pereira again, put in the extra yards but demonstrated far too little on the decisive end of the scheme. He failed to pick the right passes barring set pieces, while lack of composure and timely running sucked the creativity out of Manchester United.
Nemanja Matic - 2/10
Matic was the biggest letdown in the United team by some distance. He left too much space behind, got beaten way too easily and was nowhere near his robust self. Not known for his vision, the former Chelsea midfielder was too safe in possession. A lot of attacks broke down due to the Serbian, leaving his teammates reeling while tracking.
Fair to say, he's well and truly past his prime.
Tahith Chong - 3/10
Chong was responsible for a host of tactical mishmashes. He left far too much space on either side of himself, and also lost the ball in key areas. Unable to apply the best touches, the youngster was left in a spiral world at times, not being able to decipher as to when and whether he must pass or take on players.
He epitomised the one-dimensional characteristic of United's game play, not making runs in behind or moving to the inside right to make an influence.
Juan Mata - 6/10
Mata's far from the clever runner, wily play maker and cheeky ringmaster we know him to be, but the quality is definitely omnipresent. He picked fantastic balls down either side, interchanged passes at will and came mighty close to rippling the back of the net with a sweetly struck free kick.
Daniel James - 4/10
Worked his socks off without the ball, ever-so-willing to bring about a change, but couldn't quite occupy the right, daunting positions needed to score goals. Drifted off proceedings as minutes wore on.
Mason Greenwood - 3/10
Greenwood understandably likes to drop his shoulder or runs to involve himself in the game, but by doing so, the in-form sharpshooter dislodged a focal point for his side. He offered almost nothing on Ruddy's goal, clearly not illustrating a center forward's instinct. Defensively, he could have done much better in many aspects too.
Fred - 5/10
Fred seems to be growing into his Red Devils shirt, and once again, he proved why Solskjaer rested him ahead of a busy winter period. The midfielder won the ball back on a handful of occasions and circulated passes up the pitch.
Marcus Rashford - 6/10
Rashford's inclusion, as envisaged, certainly brought about a bit of spark and cohesion upfront. The forward gelled the flow of play quite well, and was unlucky to have not found the back of the net. Influential, nevertheless.
Diogo Dalot - NA
Dalot's return is perhaps, one of the few positives for the Manchester United faithful, but the full back did too little to be rated.