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Dublin: 17°C Monday 28 September 2020


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Hello everybody, you’re very welcome along to our minute-by-minute coverage of this evening’s meeting between Wolves and Manchester United.

We’re right back into the swing of our weekly diet of Premier League football goodness and with it comes intriguing Monday Night Football action like tonight’s promising affair at Molineux.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men got off to an absolute flyer last weekend by dismantling Chelsea 4-0. The visitors from London naively played into United’s hands, who executed a ruthless counter-attack time after time which put the Londonders to shame.

Was that 4-0 hammering a sign of things to come? A top four finish is certainly the goal at Old Trafford this season and games like tonight’s against Wolves will be a good measure of where the club stands at the moment.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League - Molineux Source: Nick Potts

We all know how well United started under Ole, but the second half of last season was nothing short of a disaster. Enter Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, Harry Maguire and plenty of positive, hopeful energy which comes with a new campaign.

Wolves beat United twice at this ground last season. Nuno Espírito Santo’s men enjoyed a superb campaign back in the Premier League last season and will likely be competing in the Europa League this year, too.

They are no pushovers, especially against the top six, and will provide a stern test this evening. Wolves didn’t get off to s winning start last weekend, mind, drawing 0-0 with Leicester City at the King Power just over a week ago.

Back at Moulinex for the first time this season, Santo’s boys will be gunning for their first victory of the season, hoping to make it three wins against Man United  at this ground on the trot.

Stick with us, it promises to be an exciting evening ahead. Kick-off is coming up in just over an hour’s time at 8pm.

Let’s get started with the team news…

So, here’s how the two teams will line out this evening:

Wolves: Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Jimenez, Jota.

Substitutes: Ruddy, Vinagre, Gibbs-White, Saiss, Neto, Cutrone, Traore.

Man United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; James, Lingard, Rashford; Martial.

Substitutes: Romero, Young, Tuanzebe, Mata, Pereira, Matic, Greenwood.

TEAM NEWS: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opted for just one change from last weekend’s demolition of Chelsea. If it ain’t broke, fix it only slightly.

After scoring his first Premier League goal and matching it with a brilliant celebration full of emotion and passion last weekend, Daniel James is handed his first start.

He replaces Andreas Pereira in attack, lining out just behind Anthony Martial in a 4-2-3-1 and flanked by Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford on either wing.

Nuno Espírito Santo makes no changes from his side’s 0-0 draw away to Leicester City last Sunday, the Portuguese boss having a full squad to choose from tonight.

Right, a quarter of an hour to go before kick-off. How do you see one going? Let us know below!

Poll Results:

Man United win (226)
Draw (142)
Wolves win (84)

What the managers have said…

Nuno Espírito Santo: “It’s a new game, for sure, totally different to what we did [against Man United] in the past.

“We know we’re going to face a very tough opponent — fantastic players, all over the place. We want to compete. We want to play.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League - Molineux Wolves beat Man United 2-1 in April at Molineux. Source: Nick Potts

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “Wolves are a hard team to break down. They defend deep and they don’t give you a lot space.

“But our form, our attitude and the mood of course after a win is great, so we go into Monday’s game confident.”

It’s a massive night ahead for 21-year-old Daniel James, who is handed his first Man United start tonight after scoring against Chelsea a week ago.

Arriving at Old Trafford having signed from Swansea, the forward said he has always aspired to be like his Wales boss Ryan Giggs.

“The way he brought me and a lot of other youngsters through has been amazing,” James said.

Manchester United v AC Milan - International Champions Cup - Principality Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport

“He spoke to me when I first signed for United. His advice was to be myself, which is what I will try to do.

“He wasn’t a bad player, was he? What he did at Manchester United was amazing. Every young winger looks up to a person like him.

“He was playing in the Premier League until he was 40 and he was still beating players.”


As to be expected, Daniel James takes his place along the right wing with Jesse Lingard pushed into a more central role behind Anthony Martial tonight. Wolves getting the ball down and floating it back and forth early on here. Looking confident and up for this.


Solskjaer’s men seeing a good bit more of the ball now. Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof pushing up high and stroking the ball across the backline trying to bide their time and wait for an opening in front of them. 

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


A first foul of the evening. A long ball thumped forward sees Diego Jota race forward suddenly, trying to create a chance at goal. But Daniel James does well to track the striker’s run, get his body out in front and draw a foul along the touchline. Good awareness.


Now then, a first proper attack of the game. Raul Jimenez dodges and weaves past a host of challenges with some really excellent quick feet. He eventually offloads to his right where Matt Doherty has offered some support, and the Dubliner’s cross is blocked away for a corner kick.


It’s a poor corner, though, and easily cleared at the first hurdle. Man United fly down the other end and earn a corner of their own. Luke Shaw delivers a cross towards the back post looking for the forehead of Harry Maguire, but Conor Coady clears.


A fairly slow start to this game, you have to admit. There have been some thrilling encounters between these sides over the past year but both teams look like they are still warming up out there tonight. This game has yet to catch fire. Early days, though.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


Wolves look like breaking away via Diogo Jota after the striker did well to take the ball down and turn. Paul Pogba didn’t want to allow any danger to materialise though and he pulls his opponent’s jersey back, resulting in a free in.


Yet again the delivery is poor and easily cleared. Wolves regain possession through and threaten again down the right wing via Jonny Otto. Aaron Wan-Bissaka does well to cover the distance and put the ball away for a throw-in.


Manchester United have enjoyed 70% possession so far. But neither side has managed to carve out a single chance with the 20 minutes mark approaching. No shots on or off target. Here’s hoping that changes pretty quickly.


Now then, a half-chance! Paul Pogba picks out Marcus Rashford with a lovely diagonal ball floated across the pitch. Rashford takes control of the ball brilliantly and turns Ryan Bennett inside and out over and over again. The forward eventually delivers a cross into the box, but Anthony Martial just can’t get a foot to it.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


A good, patient spell of passing play precedes a cross into the box from Marcus Rashford. He was trying to pick out the run of Jesse Lingard behind enemy lines, but Willy Boly watched him all the way and got his head to the ball first. Good defending from Boly.


There’s a loud, somewhat sarcastic cheer and round of applause from the Wolves fans as Daniel James receives a yellow card for diving. The young winger was barrelling down the right wing before, well, diving onto the ground seeking a free. He pleads his innocence but referee Jon Moss produces the card.

Flag 27Mins


We have lift-off at Molineux! Marcus Rashford slips a precise low ball into the path of Anthony Martial and the French striker slams a sublime, left-footed effort right into the roof of the net. Rui Patricio didn’t stand a chance and could only watch on as the ball flew over his shoulder and into the back of the net. Great finish.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


It’s Martial’s 50th Manchester United goal. Despite being in and out of the side under different managers, since making his debut in September 2015 no-one has scored more goals for the club than the Frenchman. Some going.


Now then. Wolves respond in kind with an attack down the other end right away. Diego Jota causes menace inside the box with a darting run, shouldering Aaron Wan-Bissaka out of his way and earning a corner. The cross falls on a plate for Raul Jimenez to strike, but his shot is blocked away.


The game has opened up considerably over the last 10 minutes. Although it started off somewhat sluggish and slow, now the ball is zipping up and down the pitch with both sides very intent to attack straight away when in possession. Play is a lot more direct now, more urgent.


Anthony Martial almost carves out another chance. Once again it’s a neat pass to his feet from Marcus Rashford which sets Martial away. But he can’t manage to get the ball out of his feet in time to get a shot away, as a host of Wolves defenders crowd around him before Boly punts clear.


Solskjaer’s side are growing more and more confident as the minutes tick on towards half-time. Wolves’ defensive unit led by Bennett, Coady and Boly is being made to work extremely hard to keep all of Martial, Rashford, James and Lingard under wraps.


Danger inside the Wolves box as Harry Maguire heads a cross back across goal. Martial is quick on his feet trying to bring it back down to earth, but Coady sticks out his head first and manages to clear the danger. Nuno Espírito Santo’s side are still yet to produce a shot on target.


Two minutes remaining before half-time and Man United continue to press forward for a second. They earn a free-kick in a decent position after Ruben Neves clattered into Scott McTominay quite rashly.


Harry Maguire rises highest to meet the resulting cross into the box from the free, but his effort takes a deflection and Wolves regain possession. The hosts have been under quite a bit of pressure since Martial’s goal and might be happy to go into half-time just the one goal behind.


There will be one minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half.

Flag 45Mins


There we are then, Jon Moss blows his whistle and we’re halfway there.

A slowish start to this affair, but the game was brought to life thanks to Anthony Martial’s opener.

It is the French international’s 50th goal for the club and ever since the visitors have looked totally in control.

Wolves have beaten Man United the last two times these sides have met at this ground, but will have to improve quite a bit after the break if they want to avoid defeat.

More action to come shortly!

Flag 46Mins

SECOND HALF: We’re back underway for another 45 minutes!


One change at the break and it’s for Wolves. Ireland defender Matt Doherty was reportedly struggling with an illness in the warm-up tonight and he comes off to be replaced by Adama Traore. Here’s hoping it’s nothing too serious.


Both sides begin the second period brightly, but there’s a little bit of worry for the hosts as Diogo Jota goes down injured. Play pauses as the 22-year-old comes across to the touchline to receive some additional medical attention.


It was a foul from Daniel James which resulted in Jota’s injury there. The young winger will want to be careful out there. The 21-year-old is already on a yellow card for that dive in the first half.


Chance for Manchester United. Aaron Wan-Bissaka delivers a cross into a dangerous area where Jesse Lingard is free and completely unmarked. He tries to volley on target but only swipes at the ball before it bounces away. The cross was at a difficult height for Lingard there but maybe he should have done a little better.


Harry Maguire is cautioned by Jon Moss for a foul. Adama Traore did well cutting inside and running towards goal, before Maguire stopped him in his tracks. Maguire said he won the ball and that Traore simply ran into him, but Moss gives a free in to Wolves.


Close! Wolves come within inches of equalising from the resulting free-kick. It’s a header from Raul Jimenez which looks destined for the top corner, but it smashes the post and comes back away.

Flag 55Mins


Ruben Neves draws us level with an absolute peach of a goal. A proper screamer, he takes possession on the edge of the box and curls a sublime effort off the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net. What a goal.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


Now then, there was a chance the goal could have been ruled out there. Referee Jon Moss went to VAR to check if Leander Dendoncker was offside in the build-up to Neves’ brilliant goal. But after checking with the technology, Moss says the goal stands. The home crowd goes wild in celebration again!


Wolves are totally on top and Manchester United suddenly look very vulnerable. It started when Raul Jimenez hit the post a few minutes back and the momentum generated by that close chance has dragged the hosts on top here. It’s one-way traffic now.


Ruben Neves’ record of scoring absolute screamers really is incredible. It seemed like every single goal he scored last season, and the campaign before in the Championship, flew in from outside the box. He just doesn’t score tap-ins, does he?


Nuno Espírito Santo’s side look so much confident now. They are in command of possession and stroking the ball back and forth confidently. Man United very much on the back-foot. How will they respond to this challenge?


Great piece of defending from Jesse Lingard there. Wolves were breaking away down the left wing, the ball was cut back to Raul Jimenez inside the box, but Lingard did really well to track back and provide an interception.

Flag 68Mins


Jon Moss points to the spot and Manchester United will have the chance to re-gain the lead here. Paul Pogba is taken to the ground after Conor Coady left his right leg outstretched clumsily. The World Cup winner will take the spot-kick.


SAVE! Rui Patricio is the hero for Wolves! He does brilliantly to save Pogba’s spot kick. It wasn’t the best effort from Pogba. He put plenty of power behind it and sent it flying towards the bottom left corner, but the Portuguese goalkeeper dived correctly and made the save. It stays 1-1!

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


The Wolves fans scream and shout in jubilation, chanting Rui Patricio’s name over and over again. It’s been a real momentum switch in this second half. That penalty conceded by Coady looked set to be a real sucker punch, but the hosts are still level and in this with 20 minutes to go.


Manchester United still pushing for a winner here, though. A corner falls invitingly for Aaron Wan-Bissaka to have a go, which the defender does. But his shot balloons well over the crossbar to the sarcastic cheers of the home supporters behind the goal.


Wolves being pinned back now and Solskjaer’s side are regaining the upper hand now. Another corner is won and this time it’s played short. Daniel James tries to run in behind and cross again, but Willy Boly gets a block in. It’s very tense inside Molineux now.


Adama Traore has made a serious impact since replacing Matt Doherty at the break. He carves out another chance, sprinting through the right channel before fizzing a low cross into the box which Harry Maguire boots clear. Traore’s pace is just incredible.


Close chance for Wolves again. Traore delivers a pinpoint cross towards the back post where Jonny is completely free. He has all the time in the world to pick his option. He opts for a header, but it’s a weak effort which flies right into the arms of De Gea.


Aaron Wan-Bissaka is shown a yellow card after the ball appeared to hit his arm. The Wolves free-kick picks out Raul Jimenez inside the box, but again his header is caught easily by De Gea coming off his line.


A blistering counter-attack sees Wolves fly forward again down the left wing. A ball across goal finds Leander Dendoncker free racing into the box. It’s a tricky one for the 24-year-old to control. He does well to get a shot away on the half-volley, but it goes over the crossbar.


Panic at the back for Man United. A backpass from Harry Maguire is almost played short. David de Gea is forced to race from his line and put the ball into Row Z for a Wolves throw-in. A breakdown in communication between goalkeeper and defender there.


A final set of substitutions with a minute left on the clock for Man United. Mason Greenwood replaces Daniel James, who receives a loud chorus of boos from the Wolves fans due to his act of simulation in the first half. Andreas Pereira is also introduced, replacing Marcus Rashford.


There will be four minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half.


A third and final switch for Wolves with just stoppage time to go. Former AC Milan striker Patrick Cutrone comes on for Raul Jimenez who, while not getting on the scoresheet, put in a serious shift up front.


One minute left to go and Manchester United are on the attack. Solskjaer’s men win a throw-in deep in Wolves’ half and do well to get the ball down and recycle possession. They work the ball forward for Luke Shaw to strike on target, but even if it had went in, it would not have counted. Jon Moss spots an infraction inside the box and gives a free out. That should be that.



There goes the whistle. It ends honours even at Molineux as both sides must settle for a point after an entertaining 90 minutes.

Anthony Martial broke the deadlock just before the half-hour mark with his 50th goal for Manchester United.

Ruben Neves drew the sides level with a sublime effort off the underside of the crossbar and Wolves really did grow in stature thereafter.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men had the chance to regain the lead from the penalty spot after Paul Pogba was brought down by Conor Coady.

But Pogba’s spot-kick was saved brilliantly by Rui Patricio, keeping the score at 1-1.

Thanks a million for joining us this evening — you can read our full match report from tonight’s game here. Cya soon!

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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