Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-1 Manchester United: Mason Greenwood, winner hides mistakes
One of the best things about Ronaldo’s mania on Friday was the way he erased lingering memories from last weekend’s strong draw against Southampton.
Uuu! Pictures of Maguire and Fred slowly falling into a coma before losing the ball (again) for a bargain – Go!
It’s hard to imagine that many fans do this difficult and depressing job, thinking that the only missing ingredient is the number 9 luxury.
More noticeable is the mismatch between defence and attack and the way the country currently manages incredible feats that are open, easy to get around and creatively swoon over at the same time.
This is a united state that too often borders on non-functioning and dysfunction, starting and ending in the middle of the park.
For today’s game against Wolves at Moline, as after Ronaldo, after United’s midfield, is another example of the same painful flaws, only this time with a happier result.
First the good news. The win ensured the Red Devils broke the record for most away games without defeat – 28 games and totals – which was a fine performance for Solskjaer’s side.
In second place, the impressive Mason Greenwood held on to the score with the winner – his third in three games – a low shot from a sharp angle past Wolves’ goalkeeper Jose Sa.
Moreover, help came from outstanding debutant Rafael Varane, who made his path to English football easier with impeccable proficiency.
It was such a disgrace to see the graceful and Stoic French about the chaos around him that he often looked like a Rolls-Royce parked in front of the fireplace.
A late lucky goal, however, had to cover a lot of sin for Solskjaer’s country, who looked torn and disconnected when they won, as they did in the tougher draw on the south coast last week.
It seems that the Norwegians chose a country full of quality and firepower to blow up wolves. With offensive figures like Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Daniel James and Greenwood graced the pitch, it seems reasonable to expect an offensive holiday.
Instead, when the midfield pair Fred and Pogba were repeatedly intercepted and exposed by United, they were immediately let down by Wolves’ energy and excitement and struggled to gain a foothold in the game.
Nothing describes this better than the irrepressible Adam Traore, who seemed to find his way freely through United’s paper-thin line.
In fact, watching visitors cling desperately to Traore’s fur created the impression that crowds of Yorkshire terriers were trying to slow down the rhino with rollerblades.
However, amid the furore of the wolves, they were exterminated because they continued to fail to take advantage of opportunities. Trincao had a golden opportunity in the first half, crossing the line by Wan Bissaka and ruining another brilliant display by taking a big chance in the second half.
Boosted by Traore’s formidable physical strength, the hosts remained a constant threat and limited the visitors to half chances – at least until Greenwood’s 79th-minute intervention turned the game convincingly in United’s favor.
Worry not, Wolves still lead and would have scored a well-deserved equalizer, but David de Gea showed two stunning simple saves from Roman Sais.
In the end, Solskjaer will see the win as confirmation of his fine work, one last grueling bout before a Portuguese rookie brags on the horizon to add extra brilliance.
However, looking at its descent, there was a black hole in the center of its ground which, if not resolved, threatened to absorb the remaining potential of the land within it.