Manchester United were unable to reclaim fifth place in the Premier League after being held to a disappointing 0-0 draw by Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on Saturday.
It was a decent performance from a defensive point of view, with the four full-backs well facing the pace of Adama Traore, and limiting Raul Jimenez to a single serious goal view.
Despite the arrival of new signing Bruno Fernandes, there is still a seismic void of creativity in the United midfield, leaving the likes of Anthony Martial and Daniel James hopelessly isolated.
Manager’s score out of 10
6 — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s configuration largely denied the Wolves’ threat on the counter-attack, but the United boss was unable to find the formula for opening a visiting defence that never seemed to concede.
Player ratings (1-10; 10′ best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David De Gea, 6 — He had to be alert to snatch a Matt Doherty loop head in the 20th minute, and made a smart save to tip over a Jimenez shot in the 69th.
DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 6 — Although defensively to keep Diogo Jota reasonably calm, but Wolves were happy to let the former Crystal Palace man have the ball in the visitors’ help, such is the lack of right-back attacking instinct.
DF Victor Lindelof, 6 — Refused Jiminez some tap-in at the back post when he intercepted a low cross that the Wolves pushed for a first-half opener, but defended unconvincingly against Jota as Wolves forward ran towards goal shortly after, and again as he got under a piece of play and Romain Saiss headed over in the second half. Booked to shoot Wolves back under Pedro Neto in the 79th minute.
DF Harry Maguire, 7 — The United captain did well in his defensive head-to-head, and pulled the ball well from behind in what was a no-frills performance. Could have won late when he found space at the back post, but shot straight at the keeper.
DF Luke Shaw, 6 — The Englishman was given a couple of uncomfortable moments by Buccaneer Traore, but the left-back did well to cut a promising Wolves attack when he felt the danger of coming in and clear a ball through in the first half, before getting acquainted with Traore that the game was about. Booked to take Wolves substitute Daniel Podence as visitors jump eda counter.
MF Fred, 7 years old — It was a tough battle in the midfield trenches, and the Brazilian did most of the dirty work that gave the likes of Fernandes and Andreas Pereira the chance to venture further forward. A solid display.
MF Bruno Fernandes, 6 — The beginner saw a lot of the ball and kept things ticking over, without providing anything that was extremely penetrating. The closest the Portuguese came to score was when he hit softly from the edge of the box, but directly to Rui Patricio. He earned a reservation after 55 minutes for cynically removing Jiminez as the Wolves tried to break, and later fainted.
MF Andreas Pereira, 6 — It was a combative spectacle from the midfielder, who can count himself lucky to have escaped a reservation following several fouls in the first half. In the future, the 24-year-old seems to be running out of the technical craftsmanship needed to be a starter for a club of United’s stature. His last action was to shoot directly at Patricio in the 71st minute, before being replaced my Mason Greenwood shortly after.
MF Juan Mata, 6 — A frustrating evening for the Spaniard. Often hungry for the ball when in the pockets of space, and when he did receive it, he was surrounded by dozens of Wolves shirts. A rare view of the goal saw Mata shoot a wide yard from the edge of the box on time, before being removed for Jesse Lingard in the final stages.
MF Daniel James, 6 years old — The winger found himself adrift inside to try to occupy dangerous positions, but with the game mainly fighting in the middle of the field, he saw very little of the ball. Off, the final ball was sorely missing. Replaced by Diogo Dalot in the 88th minute.
FW Anthony Martial, 6 — It was a difficult evening to be a lone striker, but the Frenchman held the ball well and will be frustrated that there was no more body around him to support his attacks.
FW Mason Greenwood, N/R — The attacker’s deflected effort somehow fell into Patricio’s arms.
MF Diogo Dalot, N/R — Stooped down and headed wide in the last minute of injury time.
MF Jesse Lingard, N/R — Unable to make an impact in his late cameo.