Wolves shared the points with Manchester United at Molineux on Monday night to make it a satisfactory two points from two games in a difficult start to the season. It was a night where Wolves were certainly not at their best but they still were able to stay the distance against their top six opponents and getting points like this when not playing that well is encouraging.
Nuno started with the same eleven that he fielded in most games in the second half of last season but with a bench benefitting from the introduction of new men Cutrone and Neto who had impressed against Pyunik on Thursday.
It was a fairly even opening to the game but with United pressing high up the field, Wolves were having difficulty getting any fluency to their game. And United were dominating possession without seriously threatening the Wolves goal. Coady was making a good impression with some timely interceptions to show how well his reading of the game has developed. United did finally create a half chance when a Rashford cross only just eluded Martial with Boly doing enough to put the striker off. New Utd man Daniel James was not endearing himself to the home fans by twice diving after losing possession and the second time earned him a yellow card.
Gradually United were turning the screw and it was no surprise when they went ahead after Wolves lost possession in midfield, not for the first time, and Martial was played through on the right of the defence and produced a fine finish. Wolves were grateful to get to half time only one down as United were the better team and the midfield three of Wolves were just not able to impose themselves on the game.
Doherty had looked far from fully fit in the first half and was replaced by Traore at the break. James caught Jota after the ball had gone and may well have received another yellow if the ref had spotted that. But Wolves were better now and Jonny put a good ball in that created some panic in the Utd area and Traore was having an impact on the right and was twice hacked down for Wolves free kicks. Then Wolves were so close to drawing level as Jimenez met a Moutinho cross with a glancing header that came back off the inside of the post.
The noise levels were rising in the home ends now and Wolves got their reward with a sensational equaliser. Moutinho played a one two from a corner before pulling the ball back to the edge of the area to find Neves who took one touch before curling a superb shot in off the underside of the bar. With Traore causing all sorts of problems on the right. But out of the blue United got a penalty as Pogba went down after running into Coady. It was Pogba who took the spot kick but it was an excellent save from Patricio that kept the scores level.
United then dominated possession again in the latter stages but were wasteful with some long range shooting while at the other end Traore was regularly getting to the byeline to try to get Wolves the winner.
Patricio 7 – excellent spot kick save and looked safe in his handling all night.
Bennett 6 – played his part in another good defensive display although caught out a couple of times when United got in behind the wing back.
Coady7 – had a really good first half with a succession of interceptions. Unlucky with the penalty which was more won by Pogba than a consequence of a poor challenge.
Boly 7 – held up well to the pressing of United.
Doherty 5 – missed much of pre season with an injury and looked far from fit here.
Dendocnker 6 – not his best game for Wolves and didn’t make his usual impact.
Neves 7 – struggled to get his passing together as United successfully pressed the space, but what a goal.
Moutinho 7 – another who struggled against the pressing game but produced the goods to set up the equaliser.
Jonny 6 – had a couple of good runs but was generally needed in a defensive role against the impressive Wan Bissaka.
Jimenez 6 – suffered from a lack of supply but so unlucky not to score when his header hit the post.
Jota 5 – had a rare off night where little seemed to go right for him.
Traore 8 – came on at half time and terrified United for 45 minutes with blinding pace, plenty of trickery and an improving final delivery.
Cutrone and Neto replaced Jimenez and Jota late on.
They say it’s important to get points when you aren’t playing well and to get a point against a top six team when playing well below their best has to be an encouragement for Wolves. Three main things to take from the game. Another memorable goal from Neves. A fine penalty save by Patricio. And a real second half impact from Traore. Next is a trip to Turin on Thursday for a proper European game and then Burnley come to Molineux on Sunday as Wolves look to turn a steady start to the season into a very promising one.