Mason Greenwood struck a late goal to give Manchester United a 1-0 Premier League win at Wolves on Sunday and ensure the Red Devils set a record for matches unbeaten away from home.
The teenager’s right-foot finish settled a tight contest in which Wolves had looked the more dangerous for much of the first hour, David de Gea making one incredible save to keep the scores level in the second half.
United, who handed first starts to Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, grew into the game after toiling early on and eventually took maximum points while making English football league history with a 28th league game without defeat on their travels.
It capped a memorable week for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, who are set to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club from Juventus in the coming days.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 29, 2021
Adama Traore, starting despite speculation linking him with Tottenham, set up Francisco Trincao for the best of the early chances only for De Gea to save well with his feet.
Wolves looked deadly on the break and only a superb goal-line block from Aaron Wan-Bissaka stopped Trincao from rolling in the opening goal, Fred having failed to halt his advances after blocking the ball into his path.
Bruno Fernandes fired the ball into the net from Paul Pogba’s ball over the top but the offside flag was raised, as United ended the half without a shot on target.
They finally tested Jose Sa just before the hour mark, Fred’s volley kept out after Fernandes had just failed to tee up Greenwood.
United were all over the place when Greenwood lost the ball in attack, Traore rolled it to Trincao 12 yards out, but he miscued his finish and could not even find the target. The United forward then set himself up for a run into the Wolves box with a brilliant touch only for his control to let him down and let the hosts off the hook.
After Traore forced another Wolves corner, De Gea made a remarkable double save to keep out Romain Saiss’ header and then stop the defender smashing home the rebound from point-blank range.
It proved a pivotal moment. With 10 minutes remaining, Ruben Neves gave the ball away near his own box and Mike Dean waved away free-kick appeals, Varane fed Greenwood, and the teenager’s strike was too powerful for Sa to keep out.
What does it mean? Record for United but little to impress Ronaldo
Away fans held aloft a cardboard cut-out of Ronaldo in the first half. There was little to suggest the real-life United attackers on the pitch were posing any more of a goal threat early on.
Seven points from three games is a big improvement on the three they managed last season, but they were given serious tests by Southampton and Wolves and rarely looked in control of either match.
The pressure is on Ronaldo to make a real difference when he returns.
Traore torments United
Whether he will still be a Wolves player after the international break remains to be seen, but fans will certainly hope to see Traore in black and gold again.
He was a menace to United throughout, creating more chances (four) than any other player on the pitch and running the backline ragged.
Sancho’s full debut was far from the one he and United fans would have envisaged.
The England winger spent 72 minutes on the pitch, during which time he failed to have a shot or create a chance, while he also lost all six of his contested duels.
Following the international break, United will hope to have Ronaldo available for the home game with Newcastle United on September 11. Wolves head to Watford on the same day.
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