Man Utd player ratings gallery vs Wolves: Three score 7/10 as 3/10 given to ‘poor’ attacker

A second-half header from Raphael Varane ensured Manchester United began the new season with a win.

Manchester United began their 2023/24 Premier League campaign with a less-than-convincing 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

For long periods of the match United were second best and it looked set to be a frustrating night for the Red Devils, until Raphael Varane popped up with a crucial header in the 76th minute that secured Erik ten Hag’s side all three points.

It was a quiet start at Old Trafford, with Marcus Rashford’s effort on 11 minutes the first chance of note, but it was well saved by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa. Yet as the half continued it was Wolves who grew in confidence and the hosts struggled with their physical approach. Pablo Sarabia registered the best chance of the half when his strike from the edge of the box nicked wide off Raphael Varane, not long before Matheus Cunha flashed a shot wide.

United did produce late chances via Bruno Fernandes and Varane, and the latter could have done better having connected with an outswinging corner a few minutes before the break.

But it was a more entertaining opening to the second period and Cunha should have broken the deadlock on 49 minutes, yet from just a few yards out hit the post rather than converting. The ex-Atletico Madrid man then managed to waltz through the United midfield before testing Andre Onana from the edge of the box.

United did go close themselves, with Craig Dawson forced to scramble back and head over the crossbar after Antony lobbed the ball over Sa on 53 minutes. The keeper then did well to keep out a cross that deflected on target off Max Kilman, while Antony curled over a few minutes later.

On 72 minutes, Pedro Neto fired an effort on goal but it was comfortably held by Onana. It proved a significant moment, as United took the lead minutes later. Fernandes’ perfectly weighted pass found Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the box and he knocked the ball across the box, which was met by Varane, of all people, from just a few yards out.

Wolves pushed for an equaliser as the game entered the final 10 minutes, and Onana reacted well with his feet to twice keep out Fabio Silva shots from close distance, while Luke Shaw also blocked the striker's goal-bound effort in the final minutes the regulatory 90.

United were hanging on at end, and Hwang Hee-chan's shot was blocked by Wan-Bissaka in the box, minutes before Wolves were denied a late penalty after Onana clattered into Sasa Kalajdzic, yet a VAR check showhow didn't result in a spot-kick.

Here's how we rated the United players...

It was a quiet start at Old Trafford, with Marcus Rashford’s effort on 11 minutes the first chance of note, but it was well saved by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa. Yet as the half continued it was Wolves who grew in confidence and the hosts struggled with their physical approach. Pablo Sarabia registered the best chance of the half when his strike from the edge of the box nicked wide off Raphael Varane, not long before Matheus Cunha flashed a shot wide.

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