Having already confirmed a 2nd place finish for the league season, Manchester United had nothing to lose today. Playing a line-up full of youth, United had a couple of early chances with Anthony Elanga going close in the 8th minute, but firing over. The youngster soon put this right though, scoring a bullet header from a lovely cross by Daniel James to give United the lead. Wolves fought back, and equalised via a poachers effort from Nelson Semedo, and they continued to attack as the half went on. Just before half-time, Donny van de Beek slightly controvertially won United a penalty which was swiftly converted by Juan Mata after a lengthy VAR check overturned Mike Dean‘s original decision of no foul. In the 2nd half not much of note happened beyond debuts for youngsters Hannibal Mejbri and William Fish.
Dean Henderson: 6/10
Pretty much a spectator for parts of the game, Henderson hardly had much to do throughout the game and was hardly tested. He could not do anything about the goal Wolves scored. Henderson organised the backline well, and his distribution was tidy.
Brandon Williams: 5.5/10
The young English fullback had a solid outing defensively, dealing with much of the danger that came towards him, however he could have done much better with the ball during possession or in the final third. Williams had a rare opportunity to get on the scoresheet, however he failed to do so.
Eric Bailly – 6.5/10
Being United’s senior centre back tonight in absence of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, Bailly commanded the backline well and put in a solid performance. He put his body on the line as he always done, and his distribution from the back was quite neat. A solid performance from the Ivorian International.
Axel Tuanzebe – 7/10
Axel Tuanzebe put in another superb performance, especially in the second half when he dealt with everything that came towards him. He looks confident and assured with his defending, and always seems in control of the situation. Tuanzebe has made a solid claim for himself to start in the final if Maguire is not fit to do so.
Alex Telles – 7/10
The Brazilian fullback had one of his better games in a United shirt, who could have had an assist at the start after he played a pinpoint long ball to Elanga, who unfortunately failed to control it. Telles made some very important interceptions and tackles, and he constantly moved the ball forward whenever he could, linking up well with Matic. He was an outlet for our team to play the ball to on the left hand side, which often benefited our attackers as that created more space for them.
Nemanja Matic – 6.5/10
The veteran midfielder brought calmness into United’s midfield, with making important interceptions and blocks. He often dropped deep, almost like a third centre back to help build attacks and keep possession. Made sure Wolves’ midfielders could not make the late third man runs they like making as often by marking them.
Donny van de Beek – 7.5/10
This was arguably van de Beek’s best ever game in a United shirt. Playing in a double pivot with Matic, he commanded the midfield with authority. He constantly received the ball on the half turn, and evaded Wolves’ press with ease. He always moved the ball forward with his runs or passing. His positive intent won United the penalty after van de Beek was quite clearly fouled by Saiss at the end of the first half. A good performance for the Dutch international to build confidence upon for the Euro’s and next season.
Juan Mata – 6/10
In what arguably might be Mata’s last ever game for Manchester United, he showed his class and experience by calmly converting the penalty, which he dedicated to his mother who recently passed away. He linked the midfield with our attack nicely, and worked hard for the team. Has been a proper servant to the club.
Daniel James – 5.5/10
On his return to the starting eleven after his injury, James started the match brightly by getting an assist with a wonderful early cross to Elanga. Other than that, James did not impact the game as well as he would have liked to, with his final ball and decision making leaving much to be desired. Had an opportunity to score when Amad put the ball on a plate for him, however James failed to convert as he scuffed his attempt.
Amad – 7.5/10
Playing upfront which is not Amad’s preferred position, he showed maturity beyond his years with his performance. He linked up with the other attackers well, made some nice runs and constantly moved into little pocket of spaces to pick up the ball. Should have had an assist or two after playing our attackers in, the most notable one being in the second half to Daniel James. He has a bright future ahead of him.
Anthony Elanga – 7/10
Elanga was a constant threat to Wolves’ backline with his runs in behind. He had an early chance to score when Telles played a superb long ball to him, which he failed to control. Shortly after, he scored his first ever goal for United after connecting with a thumping header to Daniel James’ cross. He was lively throughout the entire game, and although Wolves marked him out a bit in the second half, he still had an excellent game. This is only the beginning for Elanga.
Hannibal Mejbri – N/A
Subbed on in the 82nd minute to make his first ever appearance, he did not do much to warrant a rating. Always nice seeing a player from the academy make his debut
Shola Shoretire – N/A
The same case as Hannibal, he was subbed on in the 82nd minute in place of Amad, however did not do much to warrant a rating.
William Fish – N/A
Fish made his first team debut tonight by being subbed on in the 93rd minute in place of Daniel James. Did not have enough time to do anything of note with the ball.