Saturday 25 May 2019

Wolves punish sloppy defending as Man United dealt big blow in top four race

Wolves 2 Man United 1

Diogo Jota celebrates the equaliser (Nick Potts/PA)
Diogo Jota celebrates the equaliser (Nick Potts/PA)

Simon Peach

Manchester United endured another nightmare trip to Wolves as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men slumped to their third defeat in four matches.

It is just 17 days since the Norwegian caretaker manager bemoaned the "poorest performance" of his reign, with Nuno Espirito Santo's side deservedly reaching the FA Cup semi-finals at United's expense.

The visitors started their Molineux return well but wasted a number of chances either side of Scott McTominay's superb first goal for the club, allowing Diogo Jota to level before Ashley Young became the recipient of Mike Dean's 100th Premier League red card.

Chris Smalling's own goal sealed Wolves' 2-1 comeback win, sending them to Wembley in high spirits as Solskjaer's men not only blew the chance to exact revenge but also to reassert themselves in the top-four race.

United should have been three up midway through the first half, with Romelu Lukaku - in for the injured Marcus Rashford - and Jesse Lingard wasting glorious opportunities in between a fine McTominay strike.

Fred's heavy touch from a David De Gea pass was ruthlessly punished as Jota was put behind to level, before being clattered by Young in the 57th minute as referee Dean showed the United captain a second yellow card.

From there it was always going to be an uphill battle, with Smalling turning into his own goal as Solskjaer tasted defeat as permanent United boss for the first time.

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