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‘Man Utd need more than just Cristiano Ronaldo after daylight robbery at Wolves’

Mason Greenwood’s late strike earned United all three points on the road at Molineux but it was largely thanks to goalkeeper David de Gea that they didn’t end up on the losing side

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Wolves v Manchester United Match Pics

Some things have not changed in the 12 years that Cristiano Ronaldo has been away.

This was an all too familiar script for Manchester United and a hard luck story for Wolves as Mason Greenwood’s late winner sealed the most unlikely and fortunate victory.

It was a classic smash-and-grab, daylight robbery as United were battered, held on for dear life with David de Gea producing an incredible save before the match finished in great controversy.

Paul Pogba was jeered at the final whistle as the home fans thought he fouled Ruben Neves in the build-up to the winner, referee Mike Dean did not stop the game and the anger and recriminations carried on well after the final whistle.

Ronaldo would surely have been watching after his move back to Old Trafford was agreed too late for him to play at Molineux and the travelling fans had to make do with a giant cardboard cut-out of the Portuguese superstar.



Mason Greenwood smashed in a late winner to snatch all three points for United
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)




Mind you, the cardboard cut-out could probably have done a better job in midfield for United than Fred who rather typified a disjointed, sloppy and muddled first half display from the visitors.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may need more than just Ronaldo to help bridge the gap between his players and the rest in the title race.

Away win or not, United still look short from the finished article and a 36-year-old Ronaldo will bring superstardom, fantasy and glamour but he cannot be enough on his own.









Wolves boss Bruno Lage now finds himself in the bottom three after three straight defeats, they have yet to manage a goal but they will be wondering how on earth they did not win this one.

De Gea’s double save to deny Romain Saiss in the 69th minute was the turning point of the match because United have done this so many times… ride their luck and then snatch victory.



United fans took a cardboard cut-out of Ronaldo to Molineux as they await his return
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Image:

Action Images via Reuters)




Sure enough, Sir Alex Ferguson was up in the stands at Molineux and, even though his teams produced some incredible victories, this was in United’s best traditions.

What was baffling was why United were so poor in the first half. After all the fanfare and glory of the Ronaldo signing, you could easily forget this was Jadon Sancho’s full debut and the £73m signing did little to remind anyone he was playing. He was anonymous.







Raphael Varane had an excellent debut, formed a promising partnership with Harry Maguire which, somehow, held firm in the face of Wolves pressure and chances.

But far too many others were way below the levels United expect. Wolves winger Adama Traore did what he does best – incredible, strong and fearsome runs at defences, only to then fail to deliver the final ball.

Traore’s runs set up chances for Raul Jimenez who was denied early on, the United midfield could not stop the tide and when Francisco Trincao beat de Gea with a low shot, Aaron Wan-Bissaka made a sensational block to stop a certain goal.



Raphael Varane looked assured on his United debut
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Image:

Wolves via Getty Images)




It was all Wolves but the big moment came after 69 minutes. Joao Moutinho’s corner reached Saiss, his header was blocked by de Gea. Saiss seemed certain to scored from the rebound but somehow de Gea kept it out with a sensational one-handed stop.

Then it was written in the stars. Wolves did put the ball out in the first half when Fernandes was down and probably expected the same when Pogba’s challenge caught Neves and left the Wolves midfielder in agony. It could easily have been a foul.

United played on, it is down to sportsmanship rather than the referee and Varane fed Greenwood who cut into the box from the right, his low shot went through Wolves keeper Jose Sa and sprang up and flew into the top corner.




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