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Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-1 Manchester United: Greenwood nets winner for lucky Reds

United weren’t at their best at Molineux, but came away with all three points.

FBL-ENG-PR-WOLVES-MAN UTD Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Mason Greenwood netted his third goal in as many Premier League games as a fortunate Manchester United scraped a 1-0 win away at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. The hosts were arguably the better side for much of the match, but a combination of last-gasp defending and brilliant goalkeeping kept the game goalless until Greenwood’s winner 10 minutes from the end.

Wolves dominated the first half, playing with an intensity that United struggled to match. The visitors’ woes were compounded by a weak performance from the Pogba-Fred pivot, whose unforced errors gifted the hosts a string of early chances. Adama Traoré burst through United’s midfield to slip in Raúl Jimenez in the third minute, though the Mexican striker was denied at the near post by David de Gea. Minutes later, a bungled Fred interception left Francisco Trincão in acres of space, though Aaron Wan-Bissaka scrambled back to deny the Portuguese attacker with a brilliant goal-line clearance.

Despite spending much of the first half on the front foot, Wolves failed to test David de Gea. Unfortunately, José Sá was no busier at the other end of the pitch, with United’s two first-half chances both failing to hit the target. The first came as Greenwood stuck out a leg to poke a scuffed Dan James shot wide; the second when the same striker drove a low, hard shot across the face of goal moments before halftime.

Wolves appeared more subdued after the restart, but still United struggled to create. It took only ten minutes of the second half before Ole Gunnar Solskjær handed Edinson Cavani his first appearance of the season, throwing him on in place of a quiet James. The next real chance, however, fell to the hosts, when Trincão shanked wide after being picked out by a low Traoré cross.

Wolves created an even better chance to take the lead with just over 20 minutes left, when Romain Saïss leapt to meet an outswinging João Moutinho corner. Fortunately for United, De Gea maintained his run of fine form, making a superb double-save to deny the Moroccan centre-half, first on the header and second on the rebound, smashed goalwards — and somehow kept out — from point-blank range.

It would scarcely be an exaggeration to suggest that United were clinging on, but all changed in the game’s final 10 minutes. Greenwood received the ball out on the right and drove infield, angling a cross-shot towards the far post. Diving to his right, Wolves keeper Sá should’ve done better, but his outstretched arm diverted the ball inside the bottom corner for 1-0. It was another brilliant bit of striker’s instinct from the teenage forward, but it was difficult not to feel at least some sympathy for the unlucky hosts.

It proved the last chance of the match, with United running out narrow winners. It wasn’t a great win, but it was yet more evidence that Mason Greenwood is now nigh-on undroppable — even with Cristiano Ronaldo waiting in the wings.