On a night which started with such energy and optimism, United were once again unable to capitalize on dropped points by fourth placed Chelsea. Ole’s men have been given this exact opportunity on nine occasions and have now failed to capitalize seven times. This squad has the talent to be a top-4 side and we’re a Pochettino hire away from it. Here’s how the boys performed:
Manager: Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer – 3
Positives: Started Bruno Fernandes and picked the correct lineup minus Mason Greenwood. We looked full of confidence in the first 15 minutes and with Bruno playing as the #10, United were able to produce quick interplay within the front three and create real danger for Wolves.
Negatives: As the game progressed, James and Mata tucked in centrally and pushed Bruno backwards into midfield which limited his influence on the game. Wolves deployed a 5 man backline and Ole failed to adapt in-game and at half time. AWB and Shaw should have been pushed forward in order to create width. Picked Andrea Pereira, enough said. Failed to use his last two subs until the 86th minute. Moved Martial to the left wing and never found a way to push Bruno back up into the #10 spot. Not sure who should feel more helpless: us watching on TV or Ole watching from his seat. At least he has the ability to make changes; he just doesn’t.
GK: David de Gea – 8
Made several solid saves to keep us level. Doherty had a header destined for the top bin but DDG went up strong to punch it away. Saved a screamer above his head from close range from Jimenez.
RB: Aaron Wan Bissaka – 5
Defended well and made some excellent tackles but once again showed why his winger career was cut short by Crystal Palace. Loose first touches, zero skill moves to get past defenders, wayward passes. Had one or two nice crosses – one at the death for Dalot – but that’s about it on offense.
CB: Victor Lindelof – 6
Solid but nothing special. Tough task of defending Raul Jimenez with Maguire and did so valiantly. Blocked a few crosses that might have been goals but was beaten several times. The one that stands out most was Jota knocking it passed him and running around creating a dangerous chance that Maguire had to save him from.
CB: Harry Maguire – 9
Much, MUCH better from the United Captain. Read the game to perfection and made countless important tackles and interceptions. Absolute rock at the back. Had a half-chance on a loose ball in the box late but the angle and Rui Patricio closed him down quickly.
LB: Luke Shaw – 5
Growing tired of seeing Luke Shaw jogging back to defend. Wasn’t high or wide enough to hurt Wolves – perhaps down to Ole’s tactics. Poor first touches and passes. Took a yellow for the team late on in order to stop a counter. The only good spell he had was in the first 15 minutes when everyone else was buzzing as well.
CM: Fred – 6
Not his best performance but also not his worst. Looser than normal with his passing but better on the defensive end. Still looked to move the ball forward but found it difficult working with Andreas Pereira.
CM: Andreas Pereira – 1
Not sure what else there is to say at this point so I’ll repeat:
- Poor first touches
- Wayward passing
- Gives away bad free kicks in dangerous areas
- Tries to dribble people but ends up tripping over his own feet
- Takes shots from distance that go nowhere near the target
Andreas is one of the most confusing players I have seen in ages. His inclusion in our squad will continue to boggle minds and somehow lasted 72 minutes. There is no explanation.
CAM: Bruno Fernandes – 7
First 15 minutes of the game it looked as though we got ourselves a steal at the price we paid for Bruno. Sharp passing with both feet and made himself available constantly for his teammates – led the team in touches in the first half with 54. Was forced deeper into midfield and lost his control of the game and with it, so did United. Worked very hard on his debut and put in some hard tackles. A bit trigger happy but that’s the player he is. He will score some screamers but get used to some shots into row Z.
CAM: Juan Mata – 5
Not quick enough anymore to play the tempo that we need to in order to break down deep blocks. Keeps moving and is accurate with his passing but did little in terms of creativity today. Had a shot that narrowly missed the post but that’s about it. Pinched in too often which forced Bruno deeper.
CAM: Daniel James – 3
Daniel’s disappearing act continues unfortunately. Has the pace to beat defenders but now everyone expects it because it’s all he has. Bullied off the ball constantly and has nothing in terms of skill moves or final ball. Maybe he is just low on confidence at the moment but the kid has a long, long way to go.
ST: Anthony Martial – 5
Started well like most but slowly lost his touch of the game. Fouled constantly in the first half by Wolves’ center backs which may have damaged him mentally – he’s mentally weak and drifts out of games constantly. Linked passes with Bruno and James a lot early on but it faded. Positioning was poor for most of the game and had to be instructed on where to be by Ole. On a day where Haland tucked away another two goals, Martial failed once again to convince us that he is our man up top.
SUB: Mason Greenwood – 6
Brought on for Andreas Pereira WAY too late to have much of an impact. Needs to be starting considering the injuries. Did have a left footed shot deflected forcing Patricio into a tricky save.
SUB: Jesse Lingard – 5
Subbed in late and did nothing
SUB: Diogo Dalot – 5
Also brought on far too late to have an impact but missed arguably the best chance of the game. Slipped slight in the box and headed a Wan Bissaka cross narrowly wide for the winner.