Manchester United are looking to end their 2020 on a high note with a win against a resilient Wolves side, whom they haven’t defeated in the Premier League since 2012. But they were finally able to break that curse, picking up a 1-0 win thanks to a late, late winner from Marcus Rashford.
After what was an extremely frustrating game in which both teams had their chances, it was United who got the winner in the 93rd minute when Rashford’s shot deflected into the net to give United a huge win.
The Red Devils are now into 2nd place in the league and only 2 points behind Liverpool with equal games played. While 2020 ends in an emphatic fashion for United, they must keep up a winning momentum in 2021 and keep grinding out wins as they did today to dream about doing something special in the second half of the campaign.
Manchester United Player Ratings vs Wolves
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (7.0) –
Solskjaer went with a really attack-minded team knowing how defensive Wolves’ would be. After watching his side struggle a bit in the first half, his substitutions were key. Shaw brought more energy down the left side and shut down Wolves’ counter-attacking threat. Martial wasn’t as impactful, but allowed Rashford to threaten through the right-wing and take advantage of the defenders’ tiredness.
He has brought confidence and that obsession to win games into his side which drove them to get the late win. Of course, there’s still a lot of room for improvement in creating better chances against defensive sides, but Ole will be a happy man heading into the new year after that.
David de Gea (8.0) –
The Spaniard was tested several times early on, but responded with some strong saves to keep his side from going behind. Makes an especially superb save to deny Saiss in the 39th. His clutch saves kept United in the game through till the end and helped gain an important clean-sheet too.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (5.0) –
Wan-Bissaka’s back from a slight injury trouble and looks energized after a period in the sidelines. But he’s still struggling to make an impact going forward and being quite frustrating in the final third. This was a game to forget for AWB, who was extremely lacklustre in the attacking end and couldn’t make any impact whatsoever. Didn’t have to do much defensively, but it was his attacking issues that will worry Solskjaer.
Harry Maguire (6.5) –
Maguire isn’t the most comfortable against pacy counter-attacks and is having to use some unique methods to stop them. He didn’t refain from getting dirty today, making some cynical fouls to stop Wolves’ attacks. Won the key aerial battles, bullied Fabio Silva after he came on and moved the ball forward pretty well.
Eric Bailly (7.5) –
Bailly looks pumped to face the pacy attack of Wolves and made a few brilliant recovery challenges in the first half, with a solid interception late into the half to deny Wolves a potential goal. Continued his excellent work in the second half, using his pace to quickly nullify Wolves’ attacks and making some clutch interceptions. If he continues this, Bailly will definitely play more often going forward.
Alex Telles (4.5) –
Telles seems focused on whipping in crosses for Cavani through the left-wing. But most of his crosses were either overhit or straight into the hands of the goalkeeper. Couldn’t create anything definitive and didn’t look in sync with Rashford. Taken off at half-time.
Nemanja Matic (7.0) –
Matic is tasked to stop Wolves’ counter-attacks today but looked a bit shaky in the early phase. Put in a great cross for Cavani in the 26th, only to see it wasted. When it came to his defensive duties, he did so perfectly. Completely shut down Wolves’ attacks in the second half, winning back possession numerous times and also helped beat Wolves’ press with his composed distribution.
Paul Pogba (7.5) –
Pogba has a big chance to prove his quality by helping United dominate the midfield battle today. After a decent first half, he grew more into the game in the second half and started attacking more. Had a solid shot from long-range saved well in the 74th.
The midfielder definitely helped his side control the game as it went on, making clever forward passes and causing disruptions in Wolves’ shape with his off-the-ball movement. Rewarded for his hard-working performance with a win.
Bruno Fernandes (8.0) –
Bruno starts against the team he made his United debut against earlier this year. Almost got a goal in the 34th, but saw his instinctive attempt from close saved well. It was his determination to get 3 points which ultimately stood out, as his brilliant long-ball sent Rashford into the box for his goal.
Bruno created 4 scoring chances today and was a bit unlucky not to get a goal. Despite being strictly man-marked, he helped United dominate and pile the pressure on Wolves, while also maintaining efficiency in their attacking moves. Ensures his side doesn’t play another goalless draw against Wolves with another impressive performance.
Mason Greenwood (5.5) –
The youngster is back into the starting XI after missing the past few games. Looked promising with his movement and put in a brilliant cross for Bruno’s chance in the 34th. But his overall indecisiveness in the final third wasted moves for United, causing him to be subbed after the hour-mark.
Edinson Cavani (6.0) –
Gets a well-deserved start after his heroics against Leicester. He did get the ball into the back of the net in the second half but was cruelly judged offside. Cavani’s work-rate was unquestioned today as he ran his socks off, but he was isolated by Wolves’ packed defence today and unable to do something really special.
Marcus Rashford (8.0) –
Rashford passes a late fitness test to start and looks very lively early on. Made some great runs behind the backline in the first half and moved well through the left, but unable to get a sniff at goal. Gets one attempt in the 64th, but his header went way over.
He tried so hard and got so far, and in the end it did matter. He took one last roll of the dice in added time, tricking his way past Wolves’ defenders and seeing his ambitious shot take a wicked deflection of Saiss into the net. Rashford was brave with his performance and gets a huge win for his side.
Luke Shaw (7.0) –
Shaw was like a breath of fresh air through the left after coming on, showing more drive and energy than Telles. Made some promising forward runs and decent crosses, but also helped nullify Wolves’ counter-attacks with his tendency to get in the right place at the right time. Helped see out a positive result for his side.
Anthony Martial (5.5) –
Martial helped bring a more attacking side to United and open up Wolves’ rigid backline. His first touches were great but still looked a bit lacklustre in the final third with his poor decision-making.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bailly, Bruno, Rashford and De Gea were all standouts today. I’ll give this MOTM to De Gea, because if not for his brilliant saves, United wouldn’t have won this one.