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Wolves held to drab draw by Manchester United

Wolves held to drab draw by Manchester United

04/01/2020 at 16:45Updated 04/01/2020 at 22:25

FA Cup, 3rd round, Molineux - Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Manchester United 0

Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers will have to do it all again in the FA Cup after the Premier League pair played out a goalless draw at Molineux.

There were changes aplenty following a hectic festive period for both clubs and neither could get a foothold in a fairly drab first-half. Sergio Romero produced one fine save to deny Matt Doherty but that was the only event of note.

The second period saw chances for both sides, with Juan Mata first seeing a free-kick fly just inches wide before second-half substitute Marcus Rashford hit the bar with a deflected effort.

Doherty had a goal disallowed for handball, while Raúl Jiménez hit the post as the game drew to a conclusion.

The replay will suit neither manager, as both are already having to juggle their squads due to Europa League commitments and United are in League Cup action on Tuesday, but neither side can feel unlucky not to win following what wasn't a great advertisement for the competition.

Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Andreas Pereira of Manchester United in action during the FA Cup.

Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Andreas Pereira of Manchester United in action during the FA Cup.Getty Images

TALKING POINT

Solskjaer needs new midfield options. With Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay out of action for the foreseeable future, United need their other central midfielders to step up. Fred has at least been doing something along those lines of late and was partially rested, but none of the three fringe players given a chance today - Mata, Nemanja Matic and Andreas Pereira - took it. They lacked dynamism, moved the ball too slowly and couldn’t dominate what was a makeshift Wolves midfield. Two of United’s biggest problems of late have been an inability to control games and an inability break down teams that sit deep - both start with the midfield.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Brandon Williams (Man United). Up against the daunting Adama Traore, he kept his man quiet and also found the time to get forward. He was perhaps unlucky not to win a penalty at one stage and suggested again that he has a future in the first team.

KEY MOMENTS

13’ - GREAT SAVE! The next corner is flicked on to Doherty at the back post and his volley is tipped wide from point-blank range. A superb, instinctive stop.

58’ - CLOSE! Mata is inches away from scoring from a free-kick! His left-footed curler goes narrowly past the far post as Ruddy, who gambled on him going the other way, remains motionless.

70’ - OFF THE BAR! The two subs are involved straightaway as Fred finds Greenwood and he plays in Rashford, who takes a touch or two and then sees his deflected shot loop onto the bar.

77’ - DISALLOWED GOAL! Doherty diverts a Jonny cross into the net and Molineux erupts, but the ball went in off his arm so it's not a goal. You don't even need VAR for that one.

81’ - OFF THE POST! Jimenez runs down the right but finds himself isolated, so decides to go for goal from what looked like an impossible angle and clips the post! That was fun, but never going to result in a goal.

PLAYER RATINGS

Wolves: Ruddy 5, Doherty 7, Dendoncker 6, Coady 7, Kilman 6, Vinagre 6, Neves 6, Saiss 6, Traore 5, Ashley-Seal 5, Neto 6. Subs: Jimenez 6, Jonny 7, Moutinho 6.

Manchester United: Romero 7, Young 6, Lindelof 7, Maguire 7, Williams 7, Matic 5, Pereira 5, Mata 5, Chong 6, Greenwood 6, James 5. Subs: Grant, Rashford 6, Fred 6, Dalot 5.

KEY STATS

  • Manchester United failed to have a single shot on target in this match, the second time they’ve done so in all competitions this season (also vs AZ in the Europa League).
  • Manchester United failed to direct a single shot on target in a domestic league or cup game for the first time since January 2015 (v Southampton).
  • Wolves are unbeaten in their last five matches against Manchester United in all competitions (W2 D3), their longest such streak against the Red Devils since a run of six between 1959-1962.
  • Manchester United failed to score for the first time in 14 meetings with Wolves in all competitions, since losing 0-1 in a Premier League match in January 2004.
  • Manchester United have been taken to an FA Cup third round replay for the first time since 2012-13, when they eliminated West Ham at Old Trafford.
  • Wolves’ Roman Saïss picked up his 11th card in all competitions this season (10 yellow, 1 red), more than any other Premier League player this term.