Wolverhampton Wanderers collected another ‘big six’ scalp on Tuesday night beating Manchester United to boost their hopes heading into Wembley’s FA Cup matchup against Pep Guardiola’s City.
The visitors started off stronger and were unlucky not to take the lead early on if it wasn’t for the quality of Rui Patricio who stood firm to deny the head of Romelu Lukaku from point-blank range before unlikely source Scott McTominay handed his side the lead driving a shot into the far post from 25 yards.
Jesse Lingard’s timid effort moments later did little other than to act as a wake-up call to the home side. It wasn’t long before Wolves equalised. Fred’s control let him down outside the area, Diego Jota the beneficiary of the £50 million man’s poor control, latching onto a short and clinical passage of play to send the ball sailing past David De Gea.
Likely anyone other than burley defensive midfielder Dendoncker could have given the hosts the lead, minutes after they’d levelled things up, but the Belgian lashed his effort way over the bar from ten yards.
Despite being one of the most experienced players on the pitch, an act of naïve petulance saw Ashley handed his second yellow just before the hour mark, the honourable recipient of Mike Dean 100th Premier League red card. The first man to achieve that feat.
Manchester United pressed on but were unable to pass the unbreakable defensive unit of Wolves and following a calamity of errors found themselves behind for the first time in the game via the foot of Chris Smalling, who guided the ball into his own net under pressure from Dendoncker.
Diego Jota deserves all the praise he gets after another quality performance on Tuesday night. However, we must also acknowledge the efforts of midfield maestro Joao Moutinho. What a signing this man has turned out to be, and his work against Manchester United pretty much summed him up as a player.
Matching astute defensive work with accomplished distribution, the Portuguese was the only real creative outlet in a Wolves side who found themselves penned back for large portions of the game at Molyneux.
A vital element of their unrivalled counter-attacking brand of football.
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