Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, this rejuvenated Manchester United team has won in Paris and London – five times in the capital – in fact – but it is Wolverhampton they always seem to find themselves in trouble. Hurry up! And get your Champions League Tickets so that you won’t miss the fun and drama.
It was the third defeat in four games of the new Man United manager and the second in 17 days in Molineux, where a team that will compete in a FA Cup semifinal beat Man United twice in a season for the first time since 1979-1980. Eliminated from the FA Cup last month, United’s second loss was detrimental to his top four prospects in a week when Arsenal took third place, two points behind United in fifth with a game in hand.
Ashley Young received a red card in the second half as United tried to recover from the first period in which they let the game escape. For Solskjaer, the challenges of the new era were clear and nowhere more than his old skipper Young, one of the few remaining players to never hide when the situation becomes difficult, but who is increasingly vulnerable facing opposition as strong as wolves.
He picked up two yellow cards one after the other before the hour, a rare honour to be the 100th player to say goodbye early in the August career of Referee Mike’s Premier League. It was a Man United team with echoes of the Jose Mourinho era: a dominant start betrayed by an inexplicable fall, then individual struggles, including another night when David de Gea did not seem to be quite the guardian that ‘it might be.
It was also one of those nights when Solskjaer seemed to be looking for the right formation, this time with three central defenders, including Young. The goal of the win for Wolves was eventually pushed by Chris Smalling, the reluctant recipient of a misguided Phil Jones head, as a substitute in the post-red card organization.
“We created our own fall,” said Solskjaer, his team taking the lead through Scott McTominay on three occasions in 17 minutes when United should have done better. United’s manager said he had played Young in the centre of the return leg of the Champions League second leg against Paris St-Germain and thought he could do it again. Solskjaer praised Rui Patricio’s performance in the goals for Wolves and seemed to think his team was unlucky to come back with a loss.
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