Manchester United failed to continue a perfect start to the Premier League campaign, as they drew 1-1 at the Molineaux against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Anthony Martial opened the scoring before the half hour mark from a not so easy situation and Ruben Neves equalized 10 minutes into the second half. Paul Pogba’s penalty miss 12 minutes later made sure Wolves continue being a nightmare for the Red Devils every since they came up from the Championship.
Solskjaer Needs To Be More Decisive
In a match where we have not seen many chances, especially not from open play. That is why Man United will feel even worse about this draw. They had the penalty to win it, away from home against a tough opposition. Such start, with six points out of six, would have definitely given more confidence to this young squad that is still uncertain about its qualities.
That is why the Devils lacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision making and management skills. When the penalty occurred, it was Pogba and Marcus Rashford arguing who will be the one to take it. Pogba prevailed and failed to score and this created a lot more negativity than United need right now. After the match, Solskjaer himself said that both players are penalty takers and that they need to make a decision in the heat of the moment who will take it.
Such decision obviously does not work and it shows a lack of ruthlessness about Solskjaer. When you lack decisiveness to choose one or the other, that is what happens on the pitch. Maybe either of the two players would have missed the penalty anyway, but nevertheless, things need to be known.
Pogba Misses But Shows Improvements From Deep Areas
Pogba’s penalty will haunt United, but he did show improvements in his game, especially from deep areas. Once again, Pogba was deployed as part of a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 and he showed all the qualities of his long-range passing. Wolves came out playing in a 3-4-1-2 formation, trying to create a nice block for United’s fast attackers, but they did not know what to do with Pogba who was further away.
When he started spraying his passes under a bit more pressure, there were openings that Rashford, Martial and Dan James to some extent tried to get the most of. It looks like Solskjaer has found him the position in this team.
Wolves Continue Their Mojo
Wolves came up to the Premier League a year ago and four matches against Man United later they are still undefeated against the Devils. They drew 1-1 and won 2-1 in the league last season, with a 2-1 win in the FA Cup as well. Now they drew 1-1 once more, as Nuno Espirito Santo keeps finding ways to keeping United in check. Joao Moutinho had a good game in the centre of the park, while the three centre-backs were helped by the wingbacks to create a tough environment for the visitors. In the end, Wolves did not create much, but they stayed true to their qualities.