WOLVES 0, MAN UNITED 1
Manchester United became Premier League record breakers following their victory at Wolves which was more like daylight robbery.
Mason Greenwood’s controversial late winner made it 28 league games on the road unbeaten as they surpassed the previous best of Arsenal’s Invincibles which was a top-flight record for English football.
But it was far from a convincing display by the Reds who performance was far from that of title contenders in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 100th league match as manager.
Second best for most of the match, and only level because of goalkeeper David De Gea’s heroics, United snatched victory thanks to goal machine Greenwood’s winner 10 minutes from time as he became only the fourth teenager ever to score 20 Premier League goals.
Quite what new-signing Cristiano Ronaldo would have thought of the current United side remains to be seen.
United never go to grips with Wolves’ high tempo pressing game and the electrifying pace of Adama Traore who was virtually unplayable.Embed from Getty Images
Solskjaer declared that his side “earned our luck”.
He said: “In the Premier League, things can go either way and today we got three points and a clean sheet, but on another day we may have got nothing.
“Aaron (Wan-Bissaka) made a clearance off the line and David (De Gea) made two great saves, moments which could have gone against us.
“We are allowed to have good players in each box and Mason is a unique player, right foot, left foot.
“We can play better, but we earned our luck.”
Solskjaer admitted his side struggled to get into the game in the opening period, but they took control last week.
The Reds’ manager admitted to being aggrieved with a decision that went against his side in the 1-1 draw at Southampton.
He said: “We are told referees have got to keep the game flowing and I would not argue against the referee.
“It was a poor touch (Pogba) but I think it was a fair challenge. The ball ended up with Mason and it was a great shot and credit to him for getting it on target.”
Solskjaer added it was special to go 28 away games unbeaten, explaining having no fans last season helped their cause.
Wolves manager Bruno Lage said: “We deserved more. One more time a lot of chances. I think we have the best ones and then we suffer one goal and we lose, so it’s very hard. After these three games, the chances we created, we didn’t score one goal and we don’t have any points after these three good performances.
“I am disappointed with the result but confident in the way we are playing and for sure we will win. Sometimes you create a lot of chances and don’t score, other days you create half a chance and score and win the game.
“But the main point is to continue to work the way we are working, to continue to play the way we are playing. The most important here is what we did one more time 90 minutes against a strong opponent.”
Raphael Varane was handed his Reds’ debut while Jadon Sancho a first start.
France World Cup winning defender Varane made his first appearance following his £34m move from Real Madrid.
Sancho has made two brief substitute appearances since his £73m move from Borussia Dortmund.
Solskjaer made three changes from the draw at Southampton as Daniel James also returned to the starting line-up.
Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic and Anthony Martial all dropped to the bench with Edinson Cavani also a substitute.
Wolves were seeking their first points – and first goals – under Bruno Lage after back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Leicester and Tottenham.
The Wolves boss stuck with the same team that started against Spurs seven days ago.
Winger Daniel Podence was on the bench and was ready to make his first league appearance of the season.
Wolves announced the signing of South Korea international Hwang Hee-chan from RB Leipzig and he appeared on the pitch pre-match at Molineux.
And it was the Midlands side that started the brighter as they ripped into the visitors.
They had the first chance in the third minute after Fred was stripped of the ball as Adama Traore broke before releasing Raul Jimenez whose shot was saved by the legs of David De Gea.
Brazilian Fred was caught out again by Traore as this time on-loan Barcelona star Francisco Trincao beat De Gea only for Wan-Bissaka to clear off the line.
The lightning fast Traore broke past Fred again before forcing a diving save from De Gea.
Joao Moutinho volleyed over after a defensive error from Sancho as Wolves dominated completely.
Wolves remained on top as Jimenez set up central defender Romain Saiss whose spectacular scissor kick flashed just past the upright.
Bruno Fernandes had the ball in the net seven minutes before the break after latching on to a long ball from Paul Pogba but he was immediately flagged for offside.
The Reds’ best chance of the opening half came in the final minute when Mason Greenwood broke away on the left and fired narrowly wide.
Solskjaer waited only eight minutes into the second period before making his first change as Edinson Cavani made his first appearance of the season with Daniel James being replaced.
Wolves had another great chance to take the lead midway through the second half with a counter-attack as Traore cross for Trincao who scuffed his shot wide from in front of goal.
And they were left bewildered when they failed to make the breakthrough with 21 minutes left.
De Gea pulled off an unbelievable double save to deny Saiss. His initial header from inside the six-yard box following Traore’s corner was well parried by De Gea who then somehow managed to block the defender’s follow-up effort from point-blank range.
Solskjaer’s second change saw Sancho, who had a disappointing first start for the club, withdrawn as Anthony Martial was introduced.
United had a rare chance when Greenwood’s nifty footwork helped set up Pogba whose drive was well turned over the Jose Sa.
Then against the run of play, Greenwood made the breakthrough with 10 minutes left, though in controversial circumstances.
Wolves claimed Ruben Neves was fouled by Pogba, but referee Mike Dean waved play on. The ball was played out wide right by Varane to Greenwood who fired a low shot which Sa could only deflect into the top corner.
The goal, Greenwood has scored in all three games, stood after being reviewed by VAR to the fury of Neves who was booked for dissent.
United made their last change in the final minute, Diogo Dalot replacing Greenwood.