Manchester United started their season with four points after the first two games and on the third weekend they had to travel away from home yet again. This time, they managed to snatch a win, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 in a match that easily could have gone the other way around, as Man United were very lucky not to concede and then to have Mason Greenwood in attack with 10 minutes to go.
It was the young Englishman who brought the win with a low shot from the right, showing his good finishing skills once again, to win United their first three points on the road this season. Here is everything we learned from this unconvincing victory.
Man United’s Defence Exposed Thanks To Midfield
This match was another example how much Man United struggle when more defensive responsibilities are put on Paul Pogba. The dazzling Frenchman started the match as the central midfielder partner to Fred. Nemanja Matic was on the bench, while Scott McTominay is still injured, thus meaning Pogba had to slot in alongside the Brazilian. And that partnership was constantly leaving the defence exposed, unable to offer much needed stability away from home. Fred struggled heavily, giving away possessions that led to counter-attacks from Wolves. Adama Traore also troubled Fred constantly, but it was also the fact Pogba did not help him too much. Pogba is simply unsuitable to play in this double pivot role and that will narrow the options for Solskjaer throughout the season, especially when he will want to put all of Bruno Fernandes, Pogba, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch, not to mention the fact that Donny van de Beek is still there to be used…
Varane Has A Very Good Debut
It was great to see Raphael Varane on his Premier League debut and the French centre-back exuded class in his performance. Whenever he had some work to do, his defensive skills were very solid, and his in-possession performance also shows calmness that this team will need. His partnership with Maguire could bring a lot to this team, but as we mentioned when Varane was signed, a central midfielder in front of them should have been added as well, in order to make the spine of the team stronger. While Varane and Maguire did well, the lack of a strong central midfield partnership left them exposed.
Greenwood To The Rescue
Mason Greenwood is once again there for United to rescue them. The 19-year-old striker had to work around the fact that United’s midfield was innefective, that Jadon Sancho did not have a great game and that Bruno Fernandes did not bring much to the table. Thus, Greenwood was often left isolated, but despite that, he still managed to snatch a late goal, showing his qualities when striking the ball right where the ball had to go in order to score from a very tough angle. This was the second time in a row Greenwood saved United, scoring in all three Premier League matches of the campaign as well.