Varane hit and VAR controversy: ManUnited beat Wolves in opener

Varane hit and VAR controversy: ManUnited beat Wolves in opener

Man United coach Erik ten Hag was without injured €75m new signing Höjlund for the first game of the season, but the other two newcomers Onana and Mount were in the starting XI.

Wolverhampton’s coach Gary O’Neil, who was installed just a few days before the start of the season after Julen Lopetegui’s spicy departure, relied on ex-Herthan Matheus Cunha in the starting XI. In addition, the former Stuttgart Kalajdzic was in the squad after a long injury break.

United struggled at the start

United found it difficult from the start to challenge the compact defending guests. They always radiated counterattack danger through their fast attackers – above all through Matheus Cunha. However, the hosts had the first opportunity of the game, but Rashford, who played in the center of the attack, failed with his attempt by José Sa (11th).

In the following minutes, relatively little happened in front of the goals of both teams, instead the majority of the game took place in midfield. It wasn’t until 26 minutes before the visitors got through to Sarabia after the striking Matheus Cunha had beaten Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez.

The next scene also belonged to the Wolves – and again it was Matheus Cunha who was involved in the scene (33rd): The 24-year-old forwarded a pass to the center directly before he started to run down and the ball immediately got. From about 15 meters in the half-right position, however, he pushed the ball just past the left of the goal. In the minutes that followed, the spectators at Old Trafford saw the Red Devils at their best, but a cross from Shaw (37′) and a header from Rashford (38′) both missed their target. It was also Rashford who had the last action of the first half, but the striker was only able to extract a corner (45+2′).

Matheus Cunha at the outside post

After the change of sides, it wasn’t long before the Wolves – again through the omnipresent Matheus Cunha – had a huge chance to make it 1-0. However, the Brazilian failed free-standing on the outside of the post (49th). In the following minutes it was back and forth, first Antony (53′) and Bruno Fernandes (55′) and almost in return Matheus Cunha (55′) failed either the opposing goalkeeper or a defender.

After that it lasted until the 72nd minute of the game before it became dangerous again in the sixteen. Who else but Matheus Cunha captured the ball on his own sixteen and initiated the counterattack with a solo into the opposing third, which Pedro Neto completed with a shot that was too unplaced.

Varane redeems its colors

Four minutes later the doorbell rang on the other side. Bruno Fernandes’ chipball directed Wan-Bissaka down the middle, where Varane turned his head and converted for the lead (76′).

VAR luck for Onana

However, Wanderers were not impressed by this, nor was United’s always alert keeper Onana, who made two saves against freshly substituted Fabio Silva (84′). The Wolves tried everything, and former Stuttgart player Kalajdzic made his comeback in attack after a long injury break.

And lo and behold: when the Red Devils had already looked like the sure winners, there was still excitement in the eighth minute of added time: After a cross from the right, Onana didn’t hit the ball and instead cleared that striker Kaladjzic. Referee Simon Hooper decided against a penalty despite help from VAR – a controversial decision. And one that confirmed the narrow success of the Red Devils. The ten Hag team started the new season with a work victory.

Manchester United are already expecting a real heavyweight on Matchday 2: On Saturday from 6.30 p.m. the Red Devils will be visiting Tottenham Hotspur. At 4pm on the same day, Wolverhampton Wanderers host Europa League contenders Brighton & Hove Albion.


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