Football Features

“This kid is fearless” – Full player ratings as Wolves and United battle to a standstill

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:44, 4 January 2020

In a dry evening of football, Manchester United and Wolves played out a tough 0-0 draw.

The match will now go to a replay that both sides could probably do without as neither could find the breakthrough on a night when the defenders stood tall. Here’s how the players rated at Molineux:


John Ruddy – 5 – Had literally nothing to do as United failed to hit the target even once.

Leander Dendoncker – 6 – A foolish bit of defending should have seen him concede a penalty, but VAR bailed him out.

Conor Coady – 8 – An immaculate ever-present who was yet again solid as a rock. One enormous block from Rashford (that deflected onto the bar) probably saved Wolves’ cup presence.

Max Kilman – 8 – Really impressive yet again alongside Coady.

Matt Doherty – 6 – A tornado of movement. Almost scored with a back-post volley, producing a great save from Romero. Later did bundle it in but with the unintentional use of his hand.

Romain Saiss – 5 – Didn’t really have any sort of impact in attack and wasn’t as defensively strong as you’d expect.

Ruben Neves – 6 – Tried a few bangers from long range and pulled a couple nice passes out of thin air, but didn’t produce too much else.

Ruben Vinagre – 5 – Ran up and down the touchline but offered little.

Adama Traoré – 6 – Some bright darts and clever crosses but not at his devastating best.

Pedro Neto – 6 – An livewire on the wing in the first-half, ran well at Ashley Young.

Benny Ashley-Seal – 5 – Some lively runs early in the game but faded badly and was subbed at half-time.


Raul Jiménez (for Ashley-Seal 46′) – 6 – Massively improved Wolves when he came on. Struck the post with an audacious effort from a narrow angle after winning possession back himself.

Joao Moutinho (for Saiss 71′) – 6 – Came on and instantly improved the quality of football on display.

Jonny Castro (for Vinagre 75′) – 6 – A tornado of movement on the left when coming on. Creating chances and taking shots.

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Manchester United

Sergio Romero – 7 – Stunning save from Docherty early on, lifting an arm to make a point-blank stop. Produced quality when he had to.

Ashley Young – 6 – Had a real battle with Pedro Neto. Showed some quality and composure when moving forward.

Victor Lindelof – 8 – Solid at the back, repelling the vast majority of Wolves attacks.

Harry Maguire – 8 – Showed an improvement at dealing with pace by deading Adama Traoré in the open field on more than one occasion. Played through the pain after picking up a knock making one of those tackles, but never let it effect his game. Always in the right place at the right time.

Brandon Williams – 8 – Defended well against the might of Adama Traoré and offered a bit of guile and penetration in attack. Should have won a penalty but was rebuffed by VAR. A driven and confident display from a youngster who, even though he still very much developing, is far and away the best left-back at the club. Luke Shaw should be very worried, because this kid is fearless and he’s coming for Shaw’s spot.

Nemanja Matic – 3 – Classic Matic in that he didn’t tackle well and was so slow with the ball at his feet that he may as well have been wearing a Wolves shirt.

Andreas Pereira – 5 – Worked hard but you only remembered he was on the pitch during set-pieces.

Juan Mata – 7 – A bizarrely impressive display. Despite precious little help from team-mates (who made the wrong runs and chose poor passes) he was effortlessly drifting into space and always making himself available. Was the fulcrum for so many of United’s attacks. Strangely subbed off just as United went for it.

Tahith Chong – 5 – Started slowly but warmed to the task as the match wore on. Still so poor off the ball, however, and was never in a good position to finish moves off. Always wanted it to feet.

Daniel James – 4 – Some nice runs early on but ultimately wasn’t a good strategic fit for the type of game Wolves wanted to play and found himself shut out of things.

Mason Greenwood – 4 – Played too withdrawn. Didn’t push forward into the box enough nor get into position to show is true quality. All in all a massive disappointment from a player who isn’t ready to lead-the-line.


Fred (for Mata 70′) – 6 – Added impetus to the middle of the pitch. Snapping into tackles and driving the ball forward.

Marcus Rashford (for James 70′) – 6 – Hit the bar 27 seconds after coming on. Lifted United with the sharpness of his movement.

Diogo Dalot (for Chong 82′) – 5 – Did nothing bar shank a reasonable chance.