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First Win in 42 Years at Old Trafford for the Wolves | Jones’ Return, Disastrous Ronaldo & More | How the United Players Fared Against Wolves

Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wolves

Following an impressive display against Burnley, an inexcusable performance against Wolves saw Manchester United lay bare their inconspicuous inadequacies as they suffered a deplorable 0-1 defeat at the hands of the visitors at Old Trafford on Monday. Despite needing to display a convincing performance amidst growing inconsistencies across the squad, the Red Devils failed to deliver on the evening. They remained four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal ahead of their trip to Aston Villa next week.

United vs Wolves
Image Obtained via Eurosport

With the race for top-four only expected to grow increasingly challenging over the coming weeks, United look the likeliest of the challengers to drop out of the race heading into the final months of the campaign. Besides the need for consistency, the team is, seemingly, yet to grasp the philosophy of the new manager as they find themselves in a cloud of gloom, apathy, and uncertainty across the pitch ahead of a pivotal period of the season.

Starting XI

David De Gea (GK) – 7/10: Amongst the few players deserving of retaining his spot next weekend, De Gea’s crucial saves ensured United remained in the game until the match-winning strike by Wolves midfielder Moutinho in the latter stages of the second half. With the team heavily dependent on his heroics, the Spaniard will be keen on maintaining his form and continue delivering vital performances over the coming weeks.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) – 6/10: A series of palatable crosses into the opposition box saw Wan-Bissaka display an element of surprise, providing adequate support on the right-flank during the first half of the game. Although the right-back remained solid in defence throughout the ninety minutes, he failed to emerge as an omnipresent attacking threat during the second half.

Phil Jones (RCB) – 7/10: The most surprising of inclusions on the evening, Phil Jones marked his return to the starting line-up following two years on the sidelines owing to a long-term injury. While many expected the Englishman to struggle, Jones was amongst the best players for United against Wolves, engaging in crunching tackles throughout the game. With the team having displayed a commendable defensive performance despite the result, Jones will be hoping to retain his spot against Aston Villa next week.

United vs Wolves
Image Obtained via The Sun

Raphael Varane (LCB) – 6/10: A vital piece of the team’s backline, Varane delivered a decent performance on Monday. The Frenchman coped extremely well in the absence of Harry Maguire as he moves towards returning to full match fitness ahead of a demanding period in the campaign.

Luke Shaw (LB) – 6/10: Amongst the decent performers on the evening, Shaw’s inclusion added to the team’s defensive shape and attacking prospects against Wolves. Shaw’s scathing post-match interview raised several eyebrows, however, much remains to be desired of his performances on the pitch. With a credible challenger in Alex Telles for his spot, the left-back will be keen on improving and contributing to United’s hope for better performances in the coming weeks.

Scott McTominay (CM) – 3/10: Failed to carry on the momentum from his impressive display against Burnley and emerged as a liability in the United vs Wolves game. The Scotsman failed to impose himself throughout the ninety minutes as he struggled to retain possession and execute the basics against an experienced Wolves midfield pair. With the team lacking in personnel in the department and Rangnick seemingly intransigent towards change in the midfield, it remains to be seen if the McTominay retains his spot moving forward.

Scott McTominay
Image Obtained via Football365

Nemanja Matic (CDM) – 4/10:

Another of the team’s liabilities on the day, the Serbian failed to link the forward and defensive line efficiently. Matic struggled to find forward passes whilst failing to cope with the visitors’ dynamic style of play. Having played two consecutive games, the 30-year-old is unlikely to retain his spot against Villa next weekend.

Jadon Sancho (RM) – 4/10: Struggling to find consistency despite a consecutive run of games, Sancho delivered a rather sombre performance against on Monday. The youngster failed to penetrate through the visitors’ compact defensive line whilst struggling to link up with his teammates. With the team expected to be rotated for the upcoming FA Cup tie against Aston Villa, Sancho will be wary of losing his spot to any promising performers over the coming weeks.

Mason Greenwood (LM) – 5/10: Arguably, the team’s only fluid forward on the evening, Greenwood delivered a decent performance against Bruno Lage’s men. Although there remain inconsistencies and elements of inexperience within his game, the forward will be hopeful of improving and contributing to the team’s results in the coming months.

Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – 3/10: A passenger on the evening, Ronaldo emerged as the most prominent of liabilities for United against Wolves. The Portuguese, who captained the side in the absence of Maguire, failed to have minimal impact, having struggled to receive the ball from the midfield, as he remained an onlooker for most of the ninety minutes. With the team struggling to create chances, it remains to be seen if Rangnick persists with the Portuguese’s limitations over the coming weeks.

Edinson Cavani (ST) – 3/10: Much like his strike partner, Cavani, too, remained a shadow of himself on Monday. The Uruguayan failed to have a palpable outing, seemingly looking fatigued following a demanding ninety minutes against Burnley last week. With the team in need of a refreshing reshuffle amidst reports of players leaving, it remains to be seen if Cavani retains his spot against Villa.

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Bruno Fernandes (LM) – 6/10: Having struck the crossbar in the second half, Fernandes emerged as the team’s most impactful forward following his introduction. With the team lacking creative midfielders, Fernandes is likely to retain his spot in the lineup moving forward.

Marcus Rashford (LW) – 4/10: A surprise introduction, Rashford, again, failed to impress during his cameo. Having been unable to deliver notable performances and amongst the team’s most apathetic forwards this season, it remains to be seen if Rashford finds his way into the starting line-up over the remainder of the campaign.

Anthony Elanga (LB) – 6/10: Introduced in the dying minutes of the game, it was too late for Elanga to deliver an impactful performance. With Rangnick likely to make significant changes moving forward, Elanga will be hoping to get more first-team opportunities over the coming weeks.

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