This flurry of action aside that was a match best forgotten although defeat was unkind on Wolves, who’d defended resolutely for 92 minutes before Rashford’s shot deflected off the superb Saiss and outside Rui Patricio.
Sluggish United eliminate woeful attack
Maybe there was more to describe United’s plodding screen at home into the massed shield of Wolverhampton Wanderers compared to a certain listlessness that’s so typical at the lull between Christmas and the new year.
Scott McTominay and Fred weren’t involved as Nemanja Matic came to midfield and it was possibly their lack that has been keenly felt. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s negatives are at their best when their midfield foundation may present their attackers fast ball to operate at retreating defenses. Rather they found themselves far too long like the United distribution line needed to extricate the ball from a ruck before transferring it up the pitch.
United’s inside forward can be catastrophic driving in the flank towards the target in their most powerful foot, exposing the distance between full-back along with the middle of protection, opening their bodies up and pinging the ball to the internet. That’s the concept but in practice it could be somewhat harder when confronted with Wolves’ back three if rather you’re attacking a defense which has had the time to place itself since their opponents have taken so long to progress up the field.
What can change that’s the danger of an overload down the flanks however United’s full-backs were especially hesitant over bombing on in service of Greenwood and Rashford. Alex Telles is nothing of this kind but provided so little going ahead he had been hooked at halftime in favour of Luke Shaw.
Meanwhile Cavani was too static in fundamental places, a great poacher he can be but his role in United’s build-up was at best tangential. Without anyone to elongate play to the byline, the home side’s gameplan boiled down to was lobbying spans from par together with the penalty box to the region. On the infrequent occasions when a forwards defeat their man into the ball they have been typically confronting a minimal likelihood header.
It required you brilliant cross from Greenwood to tee Fernandes at close selection, Rui Patricio rescued well to deny the United playmaker, but if gamers of these great talent create a deflected winner out of Rashford then there’s something incorrect with the game plan. And for all the natural answers that don’t really matter if you are winning there will be matches to come where these awkward attacking doesn’t go rewarded.