By Peter Hall
WOLVERHAMPTON, England -Mason Greenwood’s late winner earned Manchester United a 1-0 win at wasteful Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday, breaking the record for the longest unbeaten away run in English Football League history in the process.
Greenwood’s low strike 10 minutes from time was decisive after Wolves had missed a host of chances throughout the match as United made it 28 unbeaten on the road in the league, beating Arsenal’s record set between April 2003 and September 2004.
The home side threw everything at United early on, with Raul Jimenez and Trincao going close, but the visitors, who looked disjointed defensively, somehow clung on until halftime without offering much as an attacking threat.
Wolves continued to be the better side after the break, with David de Gea making a remarkable double save to keep out two close-range efforts from Romain Saiss.
United’s Jadon Sancho, who had a quiet full debut, was replaced in the second half as they went in search of the winner, with home-grown youngster Greenwood netting his third goal in as many games to snatch all three points.
Wolves were adamant there was a foul by Paul Pogba on Ruben Neves in the build-up to the winner but nothing was given as United made it seven points from nine so far this season to sit in third place, while Wolves stay 18th without a point or goal.
“Everyone saw it, everyone saw my leg. We always do meetings and everything with referees about VAR, I don’t know why,” Neves told Sky Sports.
“They said before the season started they will look for contact – if the contact is strong enough, they will give the foul. I showed my leg to the ref, I showed (it) to the assistant ref. I cannot say anything more. It is a clear foul.”
The atmosphere among both sets of fans was buzzing pre-match, with Wolves supporters presented with new signing Hwang Hee-chan to rapturous applause, while United’s following sang the name of imminent arrival, Cristiano Ronaldo, non-stop.
On the pitch, it was one-way traffic, as United defender Raphael Varane was given a real test on his debut.
Only Liverpool had more shots in the opening two rounds of league matches than Wolves but Bruno Lage’s team have not scored from any of them and on Sunday you could see why.
United were carved open time and again by Adama Traore’s pace on the break, with Raul Jimenez, on his first home start since fracturing his skull late last year, denied by De Gea.
Trincao was next to breach United’s defence in a frantic opening, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka racing back to block on the line as the Portuguese winger beat De Gea with a slotted effort.
United did finally settle with Greenwood’s powerful strike wide just before the break the closest they came.
Traore continued to be a thorn in United’s side after the interval, with the Spaniard squaring for Trincao midway through the half but, with all the time in the world, the Wolves new boy scuffed his effort wide.
After another reprieve for United following De Gea’s double intervention to deny Saiss from a corner, they finally started to look more of a threat and edged the match with 10 minutes left.
Pogba was the target of Wolves fans’ anger as he appeared to go in studs up on Neves, but referee Mike Dean waved play on.
Greenwood did the rest, with the talented teenager fizzing a strike under Jose Sa’s despairing dive to snatch victory for United in a game they really did not deserve much from.