Manchester United welcomed Sir Alex Ferguson back to Old Trafford but were held to a 1-1 draw at home against Wolves.
Despite the away side starting game as the team more likely to score, it was United who went ahead after 18 minutes thanks to Fred’s neatly tucked finish into Rui Patricio’s bottom right hand corner from 18 yards out.
Jose Mourinho’s men saw out the rest of a tense first half to go into the break with the lead, but found themselves level early into the second half.
Some great play from Helder Costa down the right hand side was followed by a low cross into a crowded penalty area, with Raul Jimenez playing the ball back to Joao Moutinho who let fly from the edge of the area and saw his strike soar into the top corner, leaving David de Gea with no chance.
It was a very open affair from start to finish with both teams threatening a winning goal, however neither team could find one as they shared the points. Here’s a breakdown of the entertaining draw.
Key Talking Point
After a comfortable win in midweek Champions League action, United were far from convincing on Saturday afternoon. They dominated possession, but it was the visitors creating the better chances and looked more likely to score.
They lacked a cutting edge in the second half and you can’t say Wolves didn’t deserve at least a point from the game. It was a disappointing afternoon after it seemed United were back to winning ways.
Starting XI: De Gea (8); Valencia (6), Smalling (6), Lindelöf (6), Shaw (7); Pogba (7), Fellaini (7), Fred (8*); Lingard (7), Lukaku (6), Sanchez (6).
Substitutes: Mata (6), Martial (6), Pereira (6).
STAR MAN – He has struggled at times since his move to Old Trafford in the summer, however Fred won many of the fans over with a terrific performance today. He looked composed on the ball and showed his wide range of passing throughout the first half.
It was his well taken finish from the edge of the area which put his side ahead and although Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba have grabbed the headlines recently with their impressive partnership in the centre of the park, Fred sent out a clear statement that he is indeed capable of playing alongside them.
WORST PLAYER – Having been replaced by Anthony Martial in United’s win over Young Boys, Alexis Sanchez was given the nod ahead of the Frenchman today but failed to impress the home faithful.
He struggled to get into the game and was largely ineffective on the left hand side for his team. He looked slightly better at the start of the second half, however not well enough in Mourinho’s eyes. His afternoon ended on the hour mark and it’ll certainly be a game he’ll want to forget in a hurry.
Not sure I’ll ever warm to Alexis Sanchez. Been so, so average for United and fails to justify his place in the team over either Martial or Rashford.
— Thomas Eldred (@TomEldred) September 22, 2018
Alexis Sanchez doesn’t deserve to start for Manutd…
— syedhu (@Syedhu) September 22, 2018
Key Talking Point
Nuno Espirito Santo named an unchanged lineup for the sixth successive game and his side were quick to get at United. They had the majority of the early chances and had it not been for De Gea they may have taken an early lead.
Even after they went 1-0 behind, they continued to frustrate their opposition by pressing them when out of possession and continued to look a threat going forward on the counter attack. They finally got their reward for their efforts early in the second half thanks to Moutinho’s outstanding effort to draw them level.
Wolves continued to press and threatened a late winner and while they weren’t able to snatch all three points, they clearly weren’t phased by the thought of playing an in form Manchester United side at Old Trafford and were very entertaining to watch.
Starting XI: Patricio (6); Bennett (6), Coady (6), Boly (6); Doherty (6), Moutinho (8), Neves (6), Jonny (6); Costa (7*), Jimenez (6), Jota (7).
Substitutes: Traore (7), Saiss (6).
STAR MAN – A large part of Wolves’ attacking threat came down their right hand side through Costa. There proved to be a real duel between himself and Luke Shaw with the winger causing the left back problems all afternoon.
It was his endeavour and desire which set up Wolves’ equalising goal and arguably could’ve snatched a goal himself. Moutinho will grab the headlines for his sublime goal, however Costa put in a real shift for his side.
Wolves are fun to watch. Giving United a game – Helder Costa looks like a real player. Don’t know how Fellaini still starts for a top-6 side
— Owen Munro (@owenjmunro) September 22, 2018
WORST PLAYER – He didn’t have a terrible game at all, however having found himself in a number of dangerous positions throughout the game, Jonny Castro be disappointed not to have got himself on the scoresheet.
It was encouraging to see Jonny taking on the United defenders, but he’ll be hoping to have more of a clinical edge next time out.
United will be looking to regroup and recover ahead of their next outing when they travel to the London Stadium on Saturday to face West Ham.