Wolves 0 Manchester United 0
Wolves and Manchester United could no be separated in an Emirates FA Cup third round tie which lacked much goal-mouth action, with the sides having to settle for a replay at Old Trafford.
In a rematch of last season’s FA Cup quarter-final, Matt Doherty thought he had won the game for Wolves when his header hit the back of the net mid-way through the second-half, but his effort was disallowed after the ball struck the Irishman’s arm on its way past Sergio Romero.
Nuno made five changes to the side who started the New Year’s Day defeat to Watford, with John Ruddy, Maximilian Kilman, Ruben Vinagre, Ruben Neves and Benny Ashley-Seal came into the line-up, with the latter making his full debut for the senior side after netting 13 times in 17 games for the under-23s this season.
Following a quiet opening to proceedings, Wolves began to pressure the United defence as Ashley-Seal looked to power his way towards goal. From a Pedro Neto corner, the hosts could have taken the lead if not for a remarkable one-handed Romero save.
Neto’s cross from the left corner was flicked on to the far post by Leander Dendoncker, with Doherty firing first time across Romero’s goal, but somehow the Argentine stopper was able to lift a strong hand to the ball to palm it clear of danger.
With little to separate the sides – apart from Doherty’s chance – in the first-half, Wolves continued to push for the opening, with Neves being set up on the edge of the United area for one of his trademark long-range efforts, but he couldn’t keep his shot down and it flew over the crossbar and into the North Bank.
The Red Devils then had their best opportunity of the opening 45 minutes, but Daniel Jones could only fire wide for the visitors following a mix-up in the home defence.
Heading into the break all square, VAR was called into action when Brandon Williams went down inside the area as he was closed down by Dendoncker. After referee Paul Tierney signalled a goal-kick, the video assistant refused to overrule the decision.
Half-time: Wolves 0 Man United 0
Wolves started the second-half by making a change to their attack, with full debutant Ashley-Seal being replaced by Raul Jimenez, but it was fellow forward Neto who had the first chance of the period.
After being played in by Adama Traore, the Portuguese forward burst across the United defence and after skipping past Ashley Young aimed a shot towards goal, however Romero was able to get down low and block Neto’s shot with his legs before Lindelof cleared the ball out of play.
Juan Mata came inches away from putting his side in front with just under an hour on the clock. After Romain Saiss fell Tahith Chong on the edge of the area, Mata stepped up and curled a free-kick towards the far post, which left John Ruddy wrongfooted, but fortunately for the Wolves keeper, the ball flashed just wide of the upright.
Seconds after United made a double substitution to bring Fred and Marcus Rashford into the game, the latter struck Ruddy’s crossbar when played into acres of space on the edge of the Wolves area and with his first touch aimed for goal, but fortunately for the hosts, Conor Coady was able to slide in and deflect the ball onto the bar.
Wolves’ supporters were in dreamland with 15 minutes of the match remaining as Doherty floated into the area to plant a header past Romero and into the back of the net. However, the referee thought the ball had hit the Irishman’s arm as it came off his head, which was confirmed by VAR and the goal disallowed.
Moments later, Jimenez clipped the woodwork when he raced down the right, but with no-one in a gold shirt anywhere near him, the Mexican had to go for goal himself and was able to cannon a shot off Romero’s bar from the tightest of angles.
As the game entered six minutes of added time, both sides pushed for the winning effort, but with the teams cancelling each other out, they will now have to travel to Manchester for a replay at Old Trafford later this month.
Full-time: Wolves 0 Man United 0
Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Dendoncker, Coady, Kilman, Vinagre (Jonny 75), Neves, Saiss (Moutinho 71), Traore, Neto, Ashley-Seal (Jimenez 46).
Unused subs: Patricio, Bennett, Otasowie, Buur.
Man United: Romero, Young, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams, Pereira, Matic, Chong (Dalot 82), Mata (Fred 70), James (Rashford 70), Greenwood.
Unused subs: Grant, Jones, Wan-Bissaka, Gomes.
Referee: Paul Tierney