Football Features

“On his day he is unplayable, and today was his day” – Full player ratings as Solskjaer’s Man Utd finally beat Wolves

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 21:55, 15 January 2020

In a tight night of football, Man Utd beat Wolves 1-0 at Old Trafford in an FA Cup final replay.

The result puts United into the next round where they will face-off against the winner of Watford vs. Tranmere. It was a tense night but United were calm and composed and eventually found a way to score as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally beat Wolves for the first time as United boss.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:

Manchester United

Sergio Romero – 7 – A solid display, doing what little he had to do with confidence. Has to be the best back-up goalie in the league.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7 – Had Adama Traoré in his pocket all night long and even managed to make an impression with some delightful dribbling in the final third. Just has to sort his crossing out now…

Victor Lindelof – 6 – Couldn’t handle anyone in a 1v1 situation but made some well-timed clearances.

Harry Maguire – 8 – A rock solid performance at the heart of the United defence. Make several late interventions and it was his incredible confidence to pass the ball out from the back that led to United scoring.

Brandon Williams – 8 – Handled himself superbly well on the defensive end. Whether it was against Pedro Neto or Adama Traoré he came out on top. An ceaselessly tenacious presence and unquestionably the club’s best left-back.

Nemanja Matic – 4 – A typical Matic performance i.e. a few very nice forward passes, a couple of great tackles and then everything else he did was slow and atrocious. Seeing him stand still, just watching Pedro Neto score, sums up how pointless he is as a defensive presence. United desperately need to sign a defensive midfielder this month.

Fred – 8 – Ran the show in the middle of the park. A cool, calm, confident display – and he didn’t fall over for once!

Juan Mata – 9 – A constant creative force for United. Always on the move, knitting attacks together and keeping Wolves off balance. Everything good flowed through him and it was so fitting that it was he who opened the scoring, racing through before finishing with a delightful chip. On his day he is unplayable, and today was his day. United will curse the fact that they wasted his best years with overly fastidious tacticians because 2014 Juan Mata is exactly the no. 10 the side is crying out for.

Mason Greenwood – 5 – Couldn’t get in the game, but in his defence the service was terrible.

Daniel James – 5 – Some searing runs in behind the Wolves defenders early on but not decisive with the ball. Faded badly.

Anthony Martial – 6 – Completely off the pace for an hour. Couldn’t link with his team-mates and at times even struggled to control the ball, but produced a sublime turn, touch and pass to create Mata’s goal.

Substitutes:

Marcus Rashford (for James 64′) – 6 – Added loads of thrust to United but a knock forced him off.

Andreas Pereira (for Greenwood 64′) – 4 – Was somehow even less effective than Greenwood. Gave the ball away countless times.

Jesse Lingard (for Rashford 79′) – n/a – Came on late.

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Wolves

John Ruddy – 8 – A superb game from Ruddy. Could do nothing about the goal and made several massive saves to keep United at bay.

Leander Dendoncker – 6 – A generally good display although he got turned too easily by Martial for United’s goal. Handled Daniel James well but looked to be struggling against Marcus Rashford, but was lucky that the Englishman went off.

Conor Coady – 7 – Solid as a rock. Constantly getting across to cover for his defensive partners and was only caught out once. Unfortunately for him, it was when he overcommitted to close down Martial and it resulted in the game-winning goal.

Romain Saiss – 6 – Wasn’t really exposed.

Matt Doherty – 5 – Hit the post with a stooping header, but otherwise didn’t do too much in attack or defence.

Ruben Neves – 5 – A delicious cross for Doherty to hit the post in the first-half and played some other nice passes but by and large didn’t really have his best game and looked somewhat tired.

Joao Moutinho – 4 – Well below par. Couldn’t exploit the space ahead of the United defence and got completely outplayed by Fred. Moreover his set-piece delivery was lacking.

Jonny Otto – 5 – Couldn’t handle Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s dribbling and was constantly getting beaten to the by-line. Subbed off.

Pedro Netro – 5 – Scored but had it ruled out by VAR. Otherwise got absolutely no change out of Brandon Williams.

Adama Traoré – 4 – A blistering force with the ball at his feet, for about 15 minutes. Then just got shut down, first by Wan-Bissaka and then by Williams. With him neutered as an attacking force Wolves struggled to hurt United on the break.

Raul Jimenez – 6 – Gave United hell. Missed a decent chance and was penalised by VAR for an absurd handball decision. But looked far and away Wolves’ most dangerous player and was crying out for better service.

Substitutes:

Morgan Gibbs-White (for Neto 71′) – 5 – Added little.

Ruben Vinagre (for Jonny 75′) – 5 – Added little and injured his hamstring right at the death.

Oskar Burr (for Traoré 88′) – n/a – Came on late.

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