Wolves 0-5 Manchester United – as it happened
Manchester United thrashed a rotten Wolves side to extend their lead to four points at the top of the Premier League.
Photo courtesy of WellOffside.com
FULL-TIME: Wolves 0-5 Manchester United. Well, that’s that. United were good, Wolves were dire, and the gap between Manchester United and Manchester City now stands at 4 points, with some goal difference regained too. The pressure is all on City now, whilst Wolves find themselves in serious trouble, bottom of the league by virtue of goal difference. Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to call your clocks and move your mum forward an hour. G’bye!
88 min: Wayne Rooney is awarded Man of the Match. His passing has been excellent, but it’s Valencia who really did the damage today.
87 min: Wolves really will have been lucky to have gotten away with 5-0 if the scoreline stays as it is. The phrase ‘lucky to get nil’ springs to mind. United aren’t pressing too forcefully though, so it looks as though they will indeed make do with just the five.
82 min: And United go close once more. Valencia gets the jump on the Wolves defence, but with Rooney unmarked, he elects to centre it for Hernandez instead, and Wolves just about deal with it.
80 min: United almost score again, executing a smooth counter-attack from a Wolves’ attack, but Welbeck’s low curling cross is cut out before Hernandez can meet it to complete his hat-trick.
78 min: It should be six for United. Rooney slips Welbeck through, and the striker manages to work just enough space to get his shot away, but Hennessey makes a fine save with his legs to deny him.
77 min: Fletcher off, Ebanks-Blake on. Rooney really is incapable of performing two roles at once – he’s been dreadful all season and yet somehow scored loads, yet he hasn’t been able to get one today against this rancid Wolves defence, and has made up for it with his best passing display of the season.
73 min: Wolves fans are chanting “Boring! Boring!” every time United are on the ball. Smalling replaces Evans – an odd change, perhaps induced by injury. We just don’t know!
69 min: A decent spell by Wolves as they manage to formulate another couple of attacks, but Fletcher’s cross is easily gathered by De Gea. United soon zip up the other end, but Bassong gets the block in to deny Rooney.
66 min: Wolves bravely have a couple of plugs at goal. Kightly forces De Gea into a save, and now the Spaniard’s called into action again, tipping around the post for a Wolves corner, which comes to nothing.
64 min: Pogba is looking rather classy here – not at the level of his extraordinary performance against Stoke, but better than his usual fare. Half an hour more to go of this – Connor must be absolutely sick.
61 min: Antonio Valencia doesn’t have an off switch. Wolves just can’t cope with him at all. And now, amazingly, it’s a rest for Patrice Evra! Fabio replaces him at left-back.
GOAL! Wolves 0-5 Manchester United (Chicharito) Yep, it’s going to be a proper dicking. It’s Hernandez once more, Valencia producing some beautiful footwork to dazzle his way down the right channel, before flicking a cross to the back post. Hernandez makes his run from out wide, and meets it with a thunderous finish which rips into the roof of the net.
57 min: Kightly on, Doyle off. Pogba on, Carrick off. Personally, I’d be sending Scholes back to his cotton-wool-encased iron lung if I was Alex Ferguson, but I am not Alex Ferguson, and it’s Carrick who goes off early instead.
GOAL! Wolves 0-4 Manchester United (Chicharito) Well, Wolves are in danger of a real shoeing now, and it’s more wretched defending. United take a short corner, and Rafael produces a dinked cross to find Hernandez at the back post, who heads home unmolested. He didn’t even have to jump.
52 min: United are, frankly, looking a bit half-arsed in their pursuit of more goals, but they may not need to be anything more. With City’s goal difference as it is, though, they should really be going for this. Rooney gets shoved over by Foley while chasing a long ball, and thumps the ground in frustration when the referee gives him nothing.
48 min: Wolves have replaced a midfielder with a defender in their reorganisation, and as a result United are having a lot more control in midfield. Scholes picks it up outside the area but instead of having a go himself, he stabs a pass through to Hernandez, who can’t turn his marker.
And we’re off again.
HALF-TIME: Wolves 0-3 Manchester United. I don’t know what Terry Connor says to his players after that, but Wolves will do well to avoid an utter humiliation here. They look doomed in every respect. I’ll be back shortly, join me for the second half in a bit, and if you wait around for a minute, goals and photos from today will be put up.
GOAL! Wolves 0-3 Manchester United (Welbeck) Wolves have collapsed. It’s more simple stuff, Wolves charging out too quickly after winning possession, and Valencia receives the ball to cut it back to Welbeck, who produces a decent finish from 12 yards to put it past Hennessey. This could get very ugly indeed.
GOAL! Wolves 0-2 Manchester United (Valencia) Brutal from United. As Wolves take a corner, United counter-attack through Rooney, and Valencia picks up the ball on the right wing at the halfway line, from where he simply powers ahead, past the Wolves defence, into the area, and smashes it past Hennessey from close range. The result of this match has been decided, but United could have a field day here.
41 min: Wolves get a bit of luck to balance things out, Scholes slipping Welbeck pretty much clean through as he finds the young striker completely unmarked outside the area. As he moves to advance on Hennessey’s goal, however, he stumbles and can’t control the ball. A let-off for Wolves there.
RED CARD: (Zubar) You won’t see a sillier red card all season. Wolves haven’t been aggressive, Zubar hasn’t been violent, but a second stupidly-timed challenge, this time on Welbeck, gives the referee no choice. It’s a long way back for Wolves now.
34 min: That’s poor from Hernandez. United spring a quick attack through Rooney and Welbeck, but when it’s played to the onrushing Mexican, his touch is dreadful and takes him straight into a Wolves defender.
33 min: Jarvis’ delivery is poor, and United get it away.
31 min: As a Wolves attack breaks down, Rooney launches a fantastic long pass to Hernandez, who appears to be clean through, but is offside. United continue to look dangerous, but they’re giving a way a lot of cheap free-kicks around their area, and Wolves have an opportunity from one now…
28 min: It’s played wide to Valencia, who cuts inside again and produces a wonderful flicked cross with the outside of his right boot. Wayne Rooney gets a foot to it, but so does a Wolves defender, and it’s cleared.
27 min: United advance with some neat passing before Ronald Zubar goes in the book for a terrible late tackle on Rooney. An opportunity for United from the free-kick…
24 min: Valencia, Scholes, and Rafael work it down the right-hand side, the Ecuadorian eventually being released before cutting inside and trying to slip in Welbeck. Hennessey is alert to claim the ball from his toes though, and the chance goes.
23 min: That Wolves defending gets no better on the replay. They’re going down so hard.
GOAL! Wolves 0-1 Manchester United (Evans) Jonny Evans scores his first ever goal for Manchester United! And richly deserved considering what a fantastic season he’s having – this is shocking marking from Wolves though. Rooney floats a corner to the back post, which finds Carrick unmarked to scuff tamely into the six-yard box, where Evans it waiting to turn it home.
18 min: Agonisingly close for Wolves! Jarvis cuts inside and floats a great ball in to Steven Fletcher near the back post, but he can’t get enough on it to direct it between the posts. Belatedly, the offside flag goes up anyway, but United went to sleep there.
17 min: Stearman floats a ball out wide for Jarvis, and Wolves want a penalty after he and Rafael collide in the area. The referee waves play on.
15 min: United haven’t been playing the most fluent football in the world, but Scholes is giving them a modicum of control, preventing a Bilbao-shaped disaster. Also aided by the fact that Wolves are not that good.
10 min: Well, that didn’t work. It appears we had some technical troubles there. Fortunately, you’ve not missed much – normal service will now resume.
Preamble: When Manchester United went on their ridiculous unbeaten run last season, it was Wolves who ended the run of the ‘Crap Invincibles’ courtesy of a George Elokobi goal. At the time, United were playing poor football and looking mightily unconvincing but still winning games as they topped the league. How times change – ‘The Body’ is now on loan at struggling Forest, and Wolves are in disarray, having sacked Mick McCarthy, appointed his assistant, and been rewarded with one spirited comeback point and two disastrous defeats. They’ll need to improve vastly to stop a determined Manchester United team from extending their lead at the top of the Premier League and leaving Wolves further in the brown stuff.
And here are your teams:
Wolverhampton: Hennessey, Zubar, Stearman, Bassong, Ward, Foley, Edwards, Davis, Jarvis, Doyle, Fletcher. Subs: De Vries, Kightly, Ebanks-Blake, Hunt, Johnson, Berra, Jonsson.
Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Welbeck, Hernandez, Rooney. Subs: Amos, Giggs, Smalling, Park, Young, Fabio Da Silva, Pogba.