Manchester United beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Raphael Varane scored the only goal of the game, from his header, in the 76th minute of the match assisted by Aaron Wan-Bissaka. An important win for Erik ten Hag.
Wolves started the match well with Matheus Cunha getting a shot on goal in the third minute of the match, which was blocked. United got their first chance of the game in the 11th minute through Marcus Rashford after Antony played the ball into him – which was saved by Jose Sa.
Two minutes later Alejandro Garnacho had an effort on goal which was blocked. In the 17th minute, Lisandro Martinez was the first player to be booked for United this season after a foul on Pedro Neto. Nothing came of the free-kick that Wolves were awarded.
In the 18th minute of the match João Gomes had an attempt blocked at the other end of the pitch. Matheus Nunes was caught offside five minutes later after Pablo Sarabia tried to find him with a through ball. Sarabia saw an attempt blocked in the 26th minute.
Mario Lemina struck a shot in the 27th minute, which was also blocked. Wolves were not making this game easy for United. Lemina was booked in the same minute for a foul on Garnacho. Cunha missed a shot on goal in the 33rd minute of the match – a let off for United.
In the 35th minute, Rayan Aït-Nouri was booked for time wasting. Rashford and Bruno Fernandes both had chances for United in the 38th minute, but both were blocked. Cunha was caught offside in the 39th minute after Nunes tried a through ball into him.
Garnacho missed a shot on goal in the 42nd minute of the math which should have been better fro the Argentinian international. Luke Shaw became the second United player to be booked this evening following a bad foul. United needed to keep their heads.
Three minutes were added on at the end of the first half. Antony had a chance in the first minute – but his shot was blocked. Rashford had another chance blocked in the second minute of added time and Raphaël Varane missed a headed effort in the same minute.
At the start of the second half, United made one substitution with Victor Lindelof replacing Martinez, who was booked in the first half. Neto had a shot on goal saved in the first minute of the second half. He missed an effort in the 49th minute too as Wolves sought an opening goal.
Cunha forced a save from Andre Onana in the 49th minute of the match with some good football from the Cameroonian goalkeeper. Antony then had a shot blocked in the 51st minute of the match with Garnacho also having one blocked a minute later.
Antony had a shot blocked in the 53rd minute of the match and Cunha saw one blocked two minutes later. Garnacho missed the target just before the hour mark with Craig Dawson seeing an effort blocked in the same minute. This match needed some life to it.
Wolves made a substitution in the 63rd minute with Hwang Hee-Chan replacing Sarabia. Cunha then missed the target in the 64th minute of the match. Hwang then missed the target in the 67th minute. Christian Eriksen and Jadon Sancho then replaced Mason Mount and Garnacho.
Pedro Neto was the third Wolves player to be booked in this match, receiving his card in the 69th minute. Three minutes later he forced a save from Onana. United then took the lead from a headed goal by Varane in the 76th minute. Facundo Pellistri replaced Antony in the 77th minute.
Wolves made a double change with Fábio Silva and Hugo Bueno replacing Cunha and Aït-Nouri in the 77th minute. Hwang missed the target in the 81st minute. Rashford was blocked a minute later. Silva saw an effort saved by Onana in the 83rd and 84th minutes.
Pellistri missed the target in the 85th minute. Scott McTominay replaced Rashford in the 88th minute of the match. Maximilian Kilman saw an attempt saved in the 88th minute. Silva saw an attempt blocked in the 90th minute. United just needed to hang on.
There was some drama in the seven minutes of added time with two penalty shouts for Wolves. It resulted in Gary O’Neil getting a yellow card. United dug in to get the victory though and three important points in their opening Premier League match.
Andre Onana: The Cameroonian made his Premier League debut for United. His passing was good and he made important saves at 0-0 and 1-0. Became the tenth United goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet on his debut. ★★★★★★★
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: What a change the right-back has made to get himself in the managers plans. Got an assist for the only goal of the game with a sublime cross into the head of Raphael Varane. Also made some great last-ditch tackles to stop Wolves. ★★★★★★★
Raphael Varane: The Frenchman got drawn out of his position by Wolves at times. But often roamed forwards which paid off as he headed Wan-Bissaka’s cross into the back of the net late in the second half. What a goal for the veteran defender. ★★★★★★★
Lisandro Martinez: Made his first competitive start following his return from injury last season. Carded for a foul which was deserved but was solid throughout. Replaced by Lindelof at the start of the second half. ★★★★★
Luke Shaw: Booked for a late foul. Struggled to build up anything with Alejandro Garnacho for much of the match – but it will get better. Made a big block for United in the 90th minute, which could have been costly. He will find his feet again this season. ★★★★★★
Casemiro: The Brazilian made probing passes and broke the lines and was often in the right place at the right time for United. He’s going to be just as important this season as he was during the last. United need more options in the midfield though. ★★★★★★★
Mason Mount: t was not the best competitive debut for the player. His best moments came off the ball. One of his corners was sent out of play. Criticism will be rife if this continues. But he will be given time to impress. He’s got the talent. ★★★★
Antony: It was not great for the Brazilian against Wolves. He often played the wrong pass and managed to stay on the pitch when he should have perhaps been substituted. But he’s a player who can create things – although he needs to show more of that. ★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: The club captain was quiet when playing in his prominent role for United. He had more involvement in the second half but often got the pass of the decision wrong. He will improve in the coming weeks though. ★★★★
Alejandro Garnacho: A bright talent but this was a poor performance based on what he’s done for united so far. He was largely erratic and struggled to improve. Shaw was unable to make it work and it could be that Garnacho was on an off game? ★★★★
Marcus Rashford: Not a striker. But needed to play there because of injury and a lack of fitness. He needs to play in his favoured position on the left-wing. I cannot wait to see Rasmus Hojlund lead the line for United in the coming weeks. ★★★★
Victor Lindelof: Replaced Martinez 46′. The iceman was sloppy in the second half of the match. ★★★★★
Christian Eriksen: Replaced Mount 68′. Brought a calming effect to the midfield. ★★★★★★
Jadon Sancho: Replaced Garnacho 68′. He was much brighter than any of the starting attacking players. ★★★★★★
Facundo Pellistri: Replaced Antony 77′. Did a lot of running on his cameo and had an attempt on goal. Needs to play more but he could go out on loan. ★★★★★
Scott McTominay: Replaced Rashford 88′. Made a late cameo and an important block late in the game. ★★★★★★
Goals: Raphaël Varane 76′
Assists: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 76′
Manchester United: Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez (Lindelof 46′), Shaw; Casemiro, Mount (Eriksen 68′); Antony (Pellistri 77′), Fernandes, Garnacho (Sancho 68′); Rashford (McTominay 88′)
Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Maguire, Dalot; Martial
Bookings: Lisandro Martinez 17′, Luke Shaw 45′; Mario Lemina 27′, Rayan Ait Nouri 35′, Pedro Neto 69′
Written by John Walker