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.
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