Football News

Manchester United 1-0 Wolves: Player ratings as Wolves rue missed chances once again

By James Amey

Published: 22:29, 14 August 2023

Manchester United got their season off to a winning start, but it was the same old story for Gary O’Neil’s side. 

Wolves headed to Old Trafford with not many people giving them any chance of coming away from the Theatre of Dreams with anything and they would be right, but they should have. Gary O’Neil’s men were much the better side in Manchester, causing the home side all sorts of problems, having 23 shots, which is the most by an opposition side since Chelsea in 2005 and six shots on target, the most vs Manchester United without scoring since Chelsea again in August 2019.

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But it was the same old story for Wolves,  finishing their 45th Premier League game since the start of 2020/21 without scoring (a record during that time period) before being hit with the sucker punch by Raphael Varane and leaving the game with nothing to show for it.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:

Man Utd 

Andre Onana – 6 – Denied Matheus Cunha with a strong save to keep the scores level and made two stops to deny Silva late on. Lucky to not give away a penalty in stoppage time, but a clean sheet on his Premier League debut for Man Utd. Something neither Peter Schmeichel or David De Gea could manage. 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7 – Usual strong defensive performance, but was more prominent going forward. Created three chances in a Premier League game for just the 6th time in his career and provided Raphael Varane with the assist and a header he couldn’t miss. The full-back ended a run of 40 Premier League appearances for Manchester United with a goal involvement, since another assist against Liverpool in May 2021.

Raphael Varane – 7 – The match winner. Headed home to give Erik ten Hag’s side all three points in one box, made five clearances, the joint most of the game in the other box.

Lisandro Martinez – 5 – Booked for lunging in on Pedro Neto to stop the counter and taken off at HT for a fear of a second yellow. Won just two of his six duels during his time on the pitch.

Luke Shaw – 6 – After playing CB for huge parts of last season, Luke Shaw is now playing the inverted full-back role for Erik ten Hag and didn’t look out of place.

Bruno Fernandes – 6 – Manchester United’s new captain put in the hard graft against Wolves, winning six duels (joint most for his side), making six tackles (the most for his side) but also created three chances (the joint most for his side).

Casemiro – 4 – Looked slow and not his usual combative self. Struggled to get around the pitch at points and Matheus Cunha just ran past him time and time again.

Mason Mount – 5 – Zero shots, zero chances created and just 30 touches. A less than impressive Premier League debut for the Red Devils.

Antony – 6 – Looked bright in the opening 20 minutes but it went downhill from there. Offered little threat after the break.

Alejandro Garnacho – 6 – Really struggled in the first half with nothing coming off for the Argentinian. Got Luke Shaw booked with a sloppy backpass and lucky to last 70 minutes.

Marcus Rashford – 6 – Had just four touches in the opening 25 minutes of the game and apart from a header that hit Semedo, had little chances.


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Substitutes:

Victor Lindelof (for Martinez 46′) – 6 – Solid display after coming on at HT.

Christian Eriksen (for Mount 68′) – 6 – Did more in 22 minutes than Mason Mount did in 68.

Jadon Sancho (for Garnacho 68′) – 6 – Added some much needed pace to United’s attack.

Scott McTominay (for Rashford 87′) – N/A – A late sub.


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Wolves

Jose Sa – 6 – Was lucky to get away with spilling the ball under no pressure in the first half and nearly cost his side by rushing out at Antony when he should have stayed on his line in the second. 

Nelson Semedo – 7 – Dealt well with Garnacho in the first half, keeping the Argentinian quiet. Impressive defensive display and not afraid to get forward when given the opportunity.

Max Kilman – 6 – Wolves’ new captain put his body on the line, making three blocks.

Craig Dawson – 8 – Helped his goalkeeper out by clearing Antony’s looping shot off the line, won 100% of his eight aerial duels and made five clearances. A rock at the back.

Rayan Ait Nouri – 7 – Didn’t give Antony a sniff and always looking to go forward. Booked for timewasting

Matheus Nunes – 8 – Excellent run in the build up to Matheus Cunha hitting the post, gliding through the Manchester Untied midfield. Looked at home on the Old Trafford turf, winning a game high 14 duels, which is the second most by a player in a Premier League game in matchday 1.

Joao Gomes – 7 – No Ruben Neves, no problem. The 22-year-old didn’t look out of place at Old Trafford, battling well by winning 10 duels and making four tackles in the middle of the park.

Mario Lemina – 7 – Covered every blade of grass, closed down well and dealt well with being on a yellow card early on.

Pedro Neto – 7 – Impressive on the counter, carrying the ball well and picking the right ball more often than not. Created more chances than any other player on the pitch (4)

Pablo Sarabia – 5 – The weak link in Wolves front three and rightfully replaced after 65 minutes.

Matheus Cunha – 8 – A constant threat to Manchester United’s back line. He set up Sarabia in the first half after an excellent run and flashed a shot just wide after some more impressive work before the break. Missed a huge chance early in the second period however, hitting the post when he really should have scored, but continued to run straight through the middle of Manchester United’s midfield with no one stopping him.

Did everything but score.

Substitutes:

Hwang Hee-chan (for Sarabia 63′) – 6 – Looked bright after coming on.

Hugo Bueno (for Ait Nouri 77′) – 6 – Did nothing wrong.

Fabio Silva (for Cunha 77′) – 6 – Had some good chances but just couldn’t find a way past Onana.

Sasa Kalajdzic (for Gomes 88′) – N/A – A late sub

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