ARTICLES Match Reports

Match Report: Wolves 1-2 Manchester United

Manchester United finished their 2020/21 Premier League campaign with a 2-1 away victory against Wolves, which means that the Reds lasted the entire league campaign without a loss on the road.

Goals from 19-year-old Anthony Elanga and veteran Juan Mata secured the three points for United, while Nélson Semedo’s goal was the first of his career in England.

Nuno Espírito Santo’s didn’t go to plan for the hosts, but it was a good result for the Red Devils, who now have all focus on the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Story of the game

In his second start for the club, Anthony Elanga looked lively in the opening minutes of the match, going close twice after some impressive movement in and around the box.

While he failed to take advantage of his first two chances, he was able to find the back of the net and score his first professional goal with his third opportunity of the match.

After 12 minutes, Alex Telles played an inviting pass down the left flank to Daniel James, who timed his run to perfection, he then put in a gorgeous cross into the penalty area with his weak foot. Elanga beat his man to the ball and scored a brilliant bullet header. It was one to remember for the 19-year-old.

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For Wolves, it was blatantly obvious that Adama Traoré was the danger man. He was a threat on their right side against Telles and set up a great chance for Fábio Silva in the 18th minute.

He shifted the ball onto his right foot and whipped an inviting cross towards the 18-year-old striker. His glancing header just went wide of the post but it was a moment of encouragement for the 4,000 fans in the stadium.

However, just minutes later the winger needed to be taken off after he appeared to be struggling with a hamstring injury, which was a huge shame for Nuno’s side.

Nevertheless, they continued to try and level things up and that is exactly what they managed to do after 38 minutes, with Nélson Semedo scoring his first goal for The Wanderers after some impressive play on the right.

Leander Dendoncker found Silva with a through ball on the right side and his cut-back was into the right-wing backs path. Semado then was able to find the bottom left hand corner with a calm finish past Dean Henderson.

The game did not remain level for long though, Brandon Williams had a great chance to put United ahead after he somehow found his way driving towards the goalkeeper but he could only smash his shot straight at Rui Patrício. However, minutes later his side were able to take the lead again with Juan Mata finding the back of the net from the penalty spot.

After Nemanja Matic ran down the right flank, he put the ball into the danger area and Van de Beek picked the ball up inside of the box. After running across the box, he was clipped by Romain Saïss and the decision was penalty after Mike Dean was consulted by VAR.

As always, Mata stepped up with a coolness and class about him and slotted the ball calmly into the left hand side of the goal in which will likely be his last goal for The Red Devils after seven years of great service to the club.

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United continued to play impressive stuff in the second half and James should’ve extended their lead after 57 minutes. Amad had a very impressive performance and he found the Welshman with a pinpoint through ball, James then attempted a chip but got it all wrong. The less said about the attempted finish, the better.

Wolves began to dominate the ball, but their lack of potency in the final third was clear to see. They struggled to create any real chances when they were in control of the ball. The closest they went was after a long ball to Semado which turned the United backline, but his cutback to Silva did not work out and that was the story of Wolves’s game.

Hannibal Mejbri came on to make his debut alongside Shola Shoretire, who made his third appearance, they replaced Juan Mata and Amad after 81 minutes, who both had solid displays.

They both linked up well minutes after coming on in order to set United on an attack, but Elanga’s shot was well over the bar after the ball found his feet.

Willy Boly’s pot-shot from distance was the last she wrote, as the ball sailed past Henderson’s net and the match concluded shortly after 18-year-old Will Fish was introduced for his first-team debut.

Unbeaten away for the season

Even though it was another second string side in the Premier League for Manchester United, there was a clear incentive to get a result in which has been a tremendous campaign on the road for the Reds.

That is exactly what the team that Ole Gunnar Solskjær put out there did, and a 2-1 victory completed a Premier League campaign in which United lasted the entirety without a loss in – they became just the third team in the history of the competition to do so.

While there have been troubles at Old Trafford for the Reds, especially at the beginning of the season, the performances away from home have been key in United’s strong finish in the league.

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With 12 wins and seven draws when travelling this campaign, an improvement in home performances next season could see United move one step further, however, the return of the fans will more than likely make things a lot different for the team.

Another Premier League campaign has finished, and it might’ve been the craziest season of the lot. While United lost the league out to their neighbours, it was a campaign of clear improvement for the Reds and now all eyes are on the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Come on you Reds.

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