Joao Moutinho’s stunning strike earned Wolves a thoroughly-deserved point at Old Trafford as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side enjoyed another memorable afternoon in the Premier League.
Behind against the run of play to Fred’s strike, Wolves stuck to their philosophy and responded after the break through Moutinho’s first goal for the club. A carefully-crafted equaliser, Raul Jimenez laid off the perfect ball for Moutinho to rifle into the top corner, past a rooted David De Gea.
The result stretches Wolves’ unbeaten run to five matches and means they’ve now taken points from both Manchester clubs since returning to the top flight. The performance was one full of endeavour and the goal was typical of everything good Nuno’s side are doing well currently.
This was the sort of occasion Wolves had been relishing since their promotion to the Premier League, so Nuno’s side were determined to have a good go at Manchester United and almost enjoyed the perfect start, but Jimenez couldn’t connect cleanly with Matt Doherty’s cross.
The Mexican scored last week’s winner against Burnley and had another chance to give his side the lead soon after. An expert Ruben Neves pass set Helder Costa on his way and after getting to the byline he squared to Jimenez, whose low effort was kept out by the feet of De Gea.
Only 13 minutes had passed when Wolves had their third opportunity, but Ryan Bennett’s header didn’t drop in time. Nuno’s side were having joy from corners and Moutinho’s next delivery was perfect for Willy Boly to thump a header goalwards, only to be denied by De Gea’s brilliant reflexes.
However, despite dominating the opening 18 minutes, Wolves went behind to United’s first shot on goal. Paul Pogba set up Fred with a fine touch and the Brazilian’s strike on the turn beat Rui Patricio down to his right.
United settled following the goal but left Patricio untested until stoppage time when Fred’s wicked free-kick was superbly pushed onto the bar by the goalkeeper. Wolves were playing some lovely football, without coming close to a first-half equaliser.
Half-time: Man United 1 Wolves 0
After the interval Patricio was the first goalkeeper called into the action, racing off his line to thwart Alexis Sanchez and Wolves were to profit from that save just minutes later.
Costa caused carnage down the right once again, twisting past Luke Shaw and squaring for Jimenez who showed his intelligence, holding onto the ball just the right amount of time before laying off to Moutinho and the Portuguese did the rest, firing a brilliant left-footed drive into the top corner with De Gea rooted to the spot.
The goal was thoroughly deserved and gave Wolves a lift, and Diogo Jota’s left-footed drive needed saving by De Gea, while at the other end Pogba fired wide and Jesse Lingard’s speculative effort was pushed over the bar by Patricio.
Adama Traore and Romain Saiss joined the action in the closing stages, with Costa and Moutinho making way after a pair of brilliant performances.
United naturally pressed for a winner during the closing stages but Wolves’ resilience came to the fore to frustrate the Old Trafford crowd. Morgan Gibbs-White joined the action late on too, taking the place of Jota.
Wolves could have even nicked all three points when Traore went scampering down the right and snuck a shot in at De Gea’s near post, but the goalkeeper was equal to the effort, saving with his feet once again.
The winger was causing carnage in the closing stages and fired a shot inches over the bar with the final chance, however, Nuno will be more than happy with a brilliant point on the road and an enjoyable afternoon for the noisy Wolves following.
Full-time: Man United 1 Wolves 1
Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Fellaini, Fred (Martial 62), Pogba, Lingard (Pereira 74), Sanchez (Mata 62), Lukaku.
Unused subs: Romero, Bailly, Young, McTominay.
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Otto, Moutinho (Saiss 80), Neves, Costa (Traore 74), Jota (Gibbs-White 86), Jimenez.
Unused sub: Ruddy, Vinagre, Hause, Bonatini.
Referee: Kevin Friend