Manchester United’s hopes of finishing in the top four this season took a major hit tonight after the Red Devils deservedly lost 1-0 to Wolves at Old Trafford.
Bruno Lage’s Wolves looked confident and purposeful in possession right from the off, which was in stark contrast to Man United who were sloppy and unimaginative on the ball.
The lively Daniel Podence was a constant threat for the visitors and forced David de Gea into a couple of decent stops while Ruben Neves was also denied by the Spanish ‘keeper after the Portuguese midfielder fired in a superb volleyed effort from long range.
United twice created decent openings but on both occasions Jadon Sancho and then Edison Cavani chose to shoot rather than playing in teammates in better positions.
Wolves continued to dominate after the second-half began, but the momentum seemed to shift towards United after the introduction of Bruno Fernandes on the hour mark. Fernandes would miss United’s best chance of the game soon after though, the playmaker hammering against the bar from eight yards out and United skipper Cristiano Ronaldo would then see a headed effort ruled out for offside.
Wolves would deservedly go ahead in the 82 minute when Joao Moutinho’s scuffed volley from the edge of the area rolled into the bottom corner.
United huffed and puffed towards the end, but Wolves held on relatively comfortably for their first ever Premier League win at Old Trafford.
Today’s defeat was the first under interim boss Ralf Rangnick and speaking afterwards the German coach freely admitted his side were poor and did not deserve anything from the game.
“We didn’t play well at all individually or collectively. In the first half, we had big problems to keep them away from our goal,” Rangnick told Sky Sports.
“In the second half we changed to a back three and had more control then a spell of 15 minutes where we could have scored. The goal we conceded, we had enough players in the box. The cross had been defended by Jones but the goal we conceded was like too many this season.
“Moutinho could shoot unmarked with no problems, no pressure. We’re very disappointed about the result and parts of our performance.
“They’re playing with four or five central midfielders and we had problems to control that part of the pitch. We decided to change our formation and we had more control – they didn’t have as many chances – but we missed our chances and we have to admit they deserved to win.
“Wolves were the best team we’ve played. We have more problems today than in other games.
“We didn’t press at all. We tried but we were not able to get into those pressing situations. They had an overload in midfield and they played via their wing-backs. We’ve been only working two and a half or three weeks after needing to close the training centre. We had the results. In times we played well but today we have to admit they’re better than us.”
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