PLAYER RATINGS: Bruno Fernandes pulls the strings at Old Trafford
PLAYER RATINGS: Bruno Fernandes pulls the strings at Old Trafford, while Anthony Martial continues his return from injury with a goal… but it’s an afternoon to forget for Diego Costa as Manchester United secure three points against Wolves
- Bruno Fernandes shined as Man United secured three points against Wolves
- Jadon Sancho produced an inconsistent performance during the victory
- United now four points clear of Liverpool in hunt for Champions League spot
Manchester United kept the race for third place alive by recovering from back-to-back Premier League losses to comfortably defeat Wolves at Old Trafford.
Though he has yet to play a full 90 since returning from a hip injury last month, Anthony Martial proved a capable deputy in place of the injured Marcus Rashford, giving his side the lead before being replaced in the second-half.
Bruno Fernandes shined once again for Erik Ten Hag in the No 10 role, proving a constant threat as United could have increased their advantage if not for several good saves from the debuting Dan Bentley in the visitors goal.
Meanwhile, Diego Costa’s performance was a far cry from his pomp at Chelsea, with the Brazilian retaining his aggression but failing to replicate the form in front of goal that once made him one of the most feared forward’s in the Premier League.
Less than a month after signing a five-year deal with the club, 18-year-old Alejandro Garnacho continued to reward Ten Hag’s faith in him by scoring in injury-time to secure three points for the hosts.
Ian Whitwell provides the ratings and the analysis from Saturday’s clash.
Man United continued their push for Champions League football with a win over Wolves
Man United (4-2-3-1):
David De Gea 6
Ten Hag kept faith despite his recent blunders and was largely okay, apart from one moment when he rashly sprinted out of his area for a through ball.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 6
Spent a lot of time bombing past Antony down the right to probe for an attacking breakthrough but still managed to perform his defensive duties.
Victor Lindelof 7
Looks a lot more solid without error-prone Maguire alongside him. Wolves boldly opted for a front two and United’s central defence kept them muzzled.
Returning to the left flank, Luke Shaw produced a typically solid performance for the hosts
Raphael Varane 6
Back from a month-long injury and looked rusty with a couple of poor early passes. Recovered as game wore on and enjoyed a physical battle with Costa.
Luke Shaw 7
Back at left-back, after his recent outings in the centre, and impressed at both end of the field. Delivered a great cross and made some key headed clearances.
Casemiro was a defensive anchor as Erik ten Hag’s side registered yet another clean sheet
Not a classic display but his no-nonsense presence was a reminder of how much United miss him when he’s absent. In the right place most of the time.
Christian Eriksen 6
Not in the sort of form he was showing earlier in the season, with his passing not as effective. Did an okay job of holding onto possession though.
Among many, missed two great first half chances, shooting and heading wide and wasted a brilliant break. But did selflessly to set up the opener and offer a constant threat.
Bruno Fernandes 8
Bruno Fernandes produced a fantastic display going forward, controlling United’s attacks from midfield
Another busy day for the Portuguese number 10, involved in a lot of attacks, including passes for both United goals. Good set-pieces too.
Jadon Sancho 5
His pass started the move that led to the opening goal but it was a rare meaningful contribution until his 73rd minute shot was well saved by Bentley.
Anthony Martial 7
Without the injured Rashford, pressure was on for somebody to score goals and the Frenchman responded. Still not capable of a full 90.
After an injury-blighted season, Anthony Martial reminded fans of his skills in front of goal by notching the opener
Wout Weghorst for Martial 68 mins – 5
Harry Maguire for Varane 80 mins
Fred for Eriksen 81 mins
Alejandro Garnacho for Sancho 81 mins
Substitutes (not used) Butland, Malacia, Dalot, Pellistri, Elanga.
Dan Bentley 8
Handed his debut so manager Lopetegui could run the rule over him and did well. Couple of good saves but best might have been from his own player, Cunha, from a corner.
On his Wolves debut, Dan Bentley produced a number of solid saves for the visitors
Nelson Semedo 7
Great cross almost laid on an equaliser for Costa and did an effective enough job in keeping Sancho quiet down his flank.
Craig Dawson 6
Important block denied Antony early in the second half and produced Wolves’ first shot of the match which flew well over. Booked for clumsy late trip on Fred.
Maximilian Kilman 6
Early slip gifted United a chance that should have led to a goal but recovered and even threatened at a couple of set-pieces.
Nelson Semedo proved a consistent threat in an otherwise difficult afternoon for Wolves
Tough job with the lively Antony down his flank and no surprise that he was taken off on the hour for Bueno.
Matheus Nunes 6
Did not get much joy out of Shaw but put in a shift at both ends of the field before ending the game in a more central position.
Ruben Neves 7
Looked the best hope of an equaliser when his probing skills and passes won a series of second half corners.
Amidst speculation regarding his future, Ruben Neves produced a fine performance at Old Trafford
Mario Lemina 6
Needed lengthy treatment after blocking a second half shot from Eriksen and sacrificed as Wolves threw on Traore. All-action to that point.
Pedro Neto 4
Ineffective and barely had a touch before being replaced at the break. A lot of United’s attacks came down his flank too.
Matheus Cunha 6
One mazy run saw him fouled by three different United players with the third, Casemiro, booked. But closest to a goal was in his own net.
Diego Costa 4
Booked early for a foul on Antony, the result of a poor first touch, and well shackled by Varane on the rare occasion he saw the ball.
Far from a vintage showing, Diego Costa looked off the pace before being subbed off
Hee Chan Hwang for Neto 45 mins – 7
Daniel Podence for Cunha 61 mins – 5
Hugo Bueno for Toti 61 mins – 6
Adama Traore for Lemina 74 mins – 6
Raul Jimenez for Costa 77 mins – 5
Substitutes (not used) Sa, Collins, Sarabia, Gomes.
Referee: J Brooks 7
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