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Doherty goal disallowed as sluggish United play out stalemate with Wolves

A largely frustrating FA Cup game finally came to life late on, but neither side could find a winner.

Mason Greenwood gets a shot off against Wolves
Mason Greenwood gets a shot off against Wolves

MANCHESTER UNITED’S FA Cup campaign started in underwhelming fashion as they drew 0-0 with Wolves in a dire third-round meeting at Molineux.

In a repeat of last season’s quarter-final – which finished 2-1 to Wolves – the encounter did not come alive until Marcus Rashford hit the crossbar moments after coming on in the second half.

Sergio Romero has been the busiest of the goalkeepers prior to Rashford’s chance, though United believed they should have had a penalty when Leander Dendoncker bundled into Brandon Williams.

Having been let off the hook when Rashford’s effort hit the woodwork, Wolves upped the pressure late on but, though Matt Doherty had a goal rightly disallowed and Raul Jimenez hit the woodwork, the tie will have to be settled in a replay at Old Trafford later this month.

United were fortunate to escape unscathed 13 minutes in when Doherty was found unmarked from a corner, Romero’s instinctive save keeping out the defender’s volley.

Wolves, however, were themselves lucky just after the half-hour mark, with VAR official Michael Oliver deeming a clumsy tackle from Dendoncker on Williams not worthy of a penalty.

United looked set to be dealt a blow when Romero went down with an apparent hamstring injury shortly after the restart, though the goalkeeper battled on and was in place to block Pedro Neto’s strike.

After Juan Mata went close with a free-kick, Rashford almost made an instant impact when introduced with 20 minutes remaining, only for Conor Coady to deflect his strike onto the bar.

Doherty had the ball in the net in the 76th minute, but the goal was disallowed due to the full-back heading the ball onto his arm, with Jimenez then rattling the woodwork from a tight angle to sum up a frustrating day for both sides in which United failed to muster a single shot on target.

United face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, before hosting Norwich City on Saturday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side then face Liverpool at Anfield on January 19, and that fixture will now follow what will have been an unwanted replay as the games continue to come thick and fast.

Wolves, meanwhile, are in Premier League action against Newcastle United on Saturday.

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