Pogba 6/10 as penalty miss costs Man United victory in draw at Wolves

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Pogba 6/10 as penalty miss costs Man United victory in draw at Wolves
Paul Pogba missed a crucial penalty in the second half as Manchester United settled for a 1-1 draw on the road against Wolves.
Pogba 6/10 as penalty miss costs Man United victory in draw at Wolves
The FC panel assess Manchester United’s start to the season and debate if there’s more to be optimistic or pessimistic about after two games.

WOLVERHAMPTON, England — Paul Pogba had a penalty kick saved as Manchester United missed the chance to go top of the Premier League after a 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night.

Pogba’s spot kick was kept out by Rui Patricio after Ruben Neves‘ stunning 20-yard strike had cancelled out Anthony Martial‘s opener. It meant that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team had to settle for a point and missed the chance to go top of the Premier League table for the first time since September 2017 — 695 days ago.

Martial’s second goal of the season gave United a deserved lead at half-time before Neves beat David De Gea with a curling effort that kissed the underside of the crossbar as it went in. The goal was given by referee Jon Moss, but only after a protracted video review. United recovered from a shaky start to the second half to end the game on top, but Pogba’s miss denied them a first win at Molineux since 2012.

Positives

It was a risk for Solskjaer to sell Romelu Lukaku without signing a replacement but, so far, Martial has justified his manager’s faith as United’s No. 9. He should have done more with a chance at the back post from Marcus Rashford‘s cross, but there was nothing wrong with his movement and finish for the opening goal. That’s two in two after scoring against Chelsea, and his 50th for the club in little more than four years at Old Trafford. He should be aiming to add at least 20 to that total this season.

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Negatives

After a controlled first half, United didn’t start well after the break. Solskjaer was out on the touchline early in the second half trying to lift his players, but it didn’t work and Neves scored soon afterward. It is difficult for any team to stay on top for 90 minutes, but United cannot afford to go through periods of the game where they switch off. Chelsea didn’t manage to punish them, but they weren’t that fortunate against Wolves.

Manager rating out of 10

5 — You have to wonder why Solskjaer has not chosen a designated penalty taker. Rashford scored from the spot against Chelsea after a conversation with Pogba, but here Pogba won the debate and his kick was saved. It was the fourth time the Frenchman has missed a penalty from 11 attempts since the start of last season.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK David De Gea, 6 — Lucky that Raul Jimenez‘s header didn’t end up in the net after hitting him on the way back off the post. Could do nothing about Neves’ equaliser.

DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 7 — It’s incredible how many times he wins the ball back in situations where he should get nowhere near it. His Spiderman nickname is well deserved.

DF Luke Shaw, 6 — Played his part in the opening goal with a long burst forward from left-back. Different game for him when Adama Traore came on at half-time.

Pogba 6/10 as penalty miss costs Man United victory in draw at Wolves
Paul Pogba’s missed penalty cost Manchester United a victory in their trip to Wolves.

DF Victor Lindelof, 6 — Nearly got himself into trouble with a sliced clearance that ballooned into the air on the edge of the box.

DF Harry Maguire, 7 — Missed a challenge on Jimenez in the first half but won almost everything in the air. Defended well.

MF Scott McTominay, 6 — Neves and Joao Moutinho dominated the games against United last season, but McTominay did enough to make sure they didn’t have it their own way here.

MF Paul Pogba, 6 — Great run forward from midfield to win the penalty but saw his kick saved by Patricio after taking the ball off Rashford.

MF Jesse Lingard, 6 — Looks far more effective playing centrally than he does out wide. Puts in a lot of work off the ball that is key to the way Solskjaer wants to play.

FW Daniel James, 6 — Making his first competitive start for United. Worked hard but didn’t get much joy forward. Booked for diving.

FW Marcus Rashford, 7 — Wonderful skill on the left to create the first chance of the night for Martial. Beautifully weighted pass for the first goal.

FW Anthony Martial, 7 — Should have done better with an early chance from Rashford’s cross but made up for it with a finish punched into the top corner with his left foot.

Substitutes

MF Juan Mata, N/R — Replaced Lingard with nine minutes remaining.

MF Andreas Pereira, N/R — Came on for the final minute plus stoppage time in place of Rashford.

FW Mason Greenwood, N/R — The second of a double substitution in the 89th minute, taking James’ place.

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