Paul Pogba missed a penalty as Manchester United had to settle for a point at Molineux in a 1-1 draw with Wolves.
United started with hunger and a snarl against a Wolves side that bit them hard last season, unbeaten in three encounters. They were bossing possession but hadn’t really tested Rui Patricio until they took the lead. A beautiful passage of play was topped off by Marcus Rashford sliding in Anthony Martial and he rifled a left-footed finish high past Patricio.
Wolves, timid in the opening 45, bit back in the second as they roared out of the traps. United were rattled and conceded a brilliant equaliser when Ruben Neves fired in a fierce shot off the underside of David De Gea’s crossbar after the Red Devils failed to clear a corner.
The game was an open spectacle from then on with both sides showing intent. United could have won it when Pogba was felled by Conor Coady inside the box, but his resultant penalty was brilliant kept out by Patricio.
Here’s how the Wolves players rated.
And a moment of appreciation for this man...— Wolves (@Wolves) August 19, 2019
Rui Patricio 7: Helpless for Martial’s ferocious strike. Stunning save to keep out Pogba’s penalty. What a fillip the Portuguese is for a club on the rise.
Willy Boly 6: Desperate lunge did enough to put Martial off in first half, seemed to thrive on physical test on offer. Three tackles was joint second most.
Conor Coady 7: Imperious, a proper centre-half, although felled Pogba and didn’t complain. Calm and collected even amid a United onslaught. Was excellent last season, can an England call-up be far away?
Ryan Bennett 5: Got away with a dreadfully underhit backpass that almost let Martial in for a second. Struggled with United’s trickery and pace but led Wolves with five clearances.
Matt Doherty 4: Struggling with injury in the early throes of the season and looked off the pace. Replaced at the break by Traore.
Jonny 5: Had his work cut out with lightening Dan James for company. Able to venture forward more as game opened up. Headed straight at De Gea.
Leander Dendoncker 5: Had a busy evening trying to keep tabs on United’s free-flowing attack. Snatched at a shot late on as Wolves countered.
Ruben Neves 7: What a stunning goal. A trait of Wolves’ Championship-winning season were his long range strikes and this harked back to that. Unsaveable.
Joao Moutinho 7: Seemed overawed in the first half but as Wolves got a grip after the break he suddenly came alive, making the hosts tick. Such a silky, composed mastermind.
Raul Jimenez 8: Intelligent, strong play earned Wolves first sight of goal, tempted Maguire into rash tackle. Unlucky to see his glancing header come back off the post. Workhorse.
Diogo Jota 7: Struggled to get going in the first 45 as his side were pegged back but thrived as Wolves found their bite. Tormented United last season and was a threat again.
Adama Traore 7: Changed the game instantly after coming on, his driving runs causing all sorts of problems and leading to the corner from which they equalised. A menace.
Patrick Cutrone N/A: Little time to make an impact but one to watch this season.
Pedro Neto N/A: Again little time to show his skills but looks tricky and one run on the left helped relieve the pressure.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos believes he can form as strong a defensive partnership with new Arsenal signing David Luiz as he did with Mats Hummels at Borussia Dortmund.
The Gunners made a surprise move to bring in Luiz from rivals Chelsea on transfer deadline day and he made his debut alongside Sokratis in Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley.
Greece international Sokratis joined last summer but despite some good performances he struggled to help improve an Arsenal defence which again proved to be their Achilles heel.
The no-nonsense 31-year-old will now be hoping to develop an understanding with Luiz and feels their contrasting styles could help form a similar to bond he enjoyed alongside Hummels during their three seasons together in Germany.
“I have known him for a lot of years,” Sokratis said of his new team-mate.
“He also speaks some Greek and is a very good guy. I am happy also that we took a player like him, with experience.
“When I was in Dortmund I played with Hummels, who has the same style as David. It was also a very good partnership and it is very good (now with Luiz).
“It was his first game, it is important that we won and we can go from here.”
A trip to Liverpool is next up for Sokratis, Luiz and Arsenal – who were thrashed 5-1 at Anfield last season – before they host Tottenham in the first north London derby of this campaign
While the pair were able to start together with victory over Burnley, Sokratis believes facing Jurgen Klopp’s side – who offer a less physical approach than the Clarets – could make it an easier afternoon.
“It was important because the other team played very good – not very good football but they play this style of game where every time they like to fight for second balls,” he said about the win over Burnley.
“It was good, it was a hard game and an important three points. It is good because we go to the derbies with six points.
“It (playing Liverpool) is a different game. Maybe it is more easy, because you don’t have to fight a lot – but they also play football. If they are on good day and you are having a bad day, it is hard.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
The former midfielder, who played close to 650 games for the Blues, was taking charge at home for the first time since his summer appointment but had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Leicester.
After a 4-0 loss at Manchester United last week and a penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool in the Super Cup in midweek, Lampard is still to taste victory and, as good as their first-half display was against the Foxes, their second-half struggle highlights the size of the task he faces.
It had seemed like a win was written in the stars as, after the pageantry of his arrival into the dugout, with chants of ‘Super Frank Lampard’ ringing around the stadium and banners held aloft, Mason Mount gave Chelsea a deserved early lead.
But Leicester, orchestrated by the impressive James Maddison, showed why they are tipped to make a challenge for the top six this season as Wilfred Ndidi made up for an error in the build-up to Chelsea’s goal with the equaliser after the break.
Lampard said: “It felt great, it is a special moment for me to come back to the club and manage them at Stamford Bridge, of course it is the stuff of dreams.
“For me it is a huge thing, but my focus today was on the match and trying to win.
“Thanks very much to the fans, I appreciate that, but I am here to do a job and here to try and win for the club and we can do better than we did today.
“We can do better than we did for 60 minutes today and we will do for sure.”
Lampard is the first Chelsea manager since Rafael Benitez seven years ago not to win any of his first three games in charge, but he is expecting patience.
“It’s a results business,” he added. “It’s strange because the performance against Manchester United overall made me happier than today even though it was a 4-0 result. We need both.
“There were frustrations. If there were frustrations in the crowd, there were frustrations in the team and on the bench.”
“We’re working in one way here and we want to do well. We know that in the circumstances that there are some tough elements this year.
“We couldn’t bring players in, I couldn’t as a new manager bring any players to help push the way I’m thinking, we lost Eden (Hazard) and he was so pivotal to this club.
“I think everyone’s understanding of that and we will be patient, but again I don’t want to use that as the huge factor.”
Provided by Press Association Sport