Manchester United 0 Wolves 0
Wolves took a point away from Old Trafford as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side could not be separated with Manchester United in the battle for fifth spot in the Premier League.
Unlike the Emirates FA Cup tie between the teams at Molineux that also ended goalless last month, there was plenty of goalmouth action in what turned into an end-to-end contest, in which both sets of players pushed to get the decisive goal, however, Rui Patricio and David De Gea both made crucial saves to keep their clean sheet intact.
Despite an even opening to the match, Wolves had the best of the early exchanges, with the returning Diogo Jota causing trouble in the United defence with his dogged determination. After winning a free-kick, Joao Moutinho’s cross eventually landed to Romain Saiss, but the Moroccan – with his back to goal – was unable to keep his shot on the turn from flying over De Gea’s crossbar.
Both teams were offering a threat going forwards in the opening 15 minutes, and the hosts had their first real chance through Andreas Pereira, who found himself unmarked and in acres of space on the edge of the Wolves penalty area when the ball was battered away, but the midfielder could only drag his effort wide of Patricio’s upright.
In an end-to-end first-half, it was then Wolves’ turn to attack and after a delightfully floated through ball by Ruben Neves to Raul Jimenez, the visitors caught United on the break and after attempting a one-two with Matt Doherty, it took a neat piece of defending by Victor Lindelof to stop the Mexican from getting a decisive foot on Doherty’s return pass.
A pair of Portuguese midfielders attempted to put their sides ahead from long-range, with Neves first firing a free-kick from 25-yards out well over De Gea’s crossbar, before United’s big-money January signing Bruno Fernandes lashed an effort wide from the edge of the Wolves area.
After a driving run by Jota, Adama Traore tried his luck on the host’s goal, but he also dragged a fizzing shot wide of goal. Moments later, Fernandes attempted two long-range shots for United, but Patricio made a pair of comfortable saves to keep the game scoreless going into the half-time break.
Half-time: Man United 0 Wolves 0
The even-paced nature of the first 45 minutes continued into the second, with both teams taking it in turns to launch attacks onto the other’s goal, and one of Wolves’ almost came to fruition if not for a slip at the crucial moment by Jota.
The forward broke quickly with Jimenez, and after jinking inside and outside, leaving the United defenders at sixes and sevens, Jota bore down on goal, but just as he made his final turn to take him in one-on-one with De Gea, the Portuguese bundled to the ground and the chance to take the lead was gone.
Up the other end, Patricio had to be alert to get hid body behind a goalbound Fernandes free-kick from 25-yards, before Juan Mata’s long-range effort flew narrowly wide of Patricio’s goal following neat one-touch passing between the Spaniard and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
With 20 minutes of the game remaining, Jimenez had a great opportunity to open the scoring when he was played through on goal by Traore, who had burst through the United midfield, but the Mexican striker found De Gea in his way to palm his powerful shot over the crossbar.
United countered and get on effort towards goal, but Patricio was able to stop Pereira’s goalbound shot. With Wolves back in attack, Moutinho tried to curl the ball into the top corner, but his shot was well off target.
Nuno introduced Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence to make his debut in gold and black as the side searched for the winning goal, but it was United who almost inadvertently took the lead when Mason Greenwood’s shot from distance took two big deflections off Willy Boly and Conor Coady, on its way towards goal, but somehow Patricio was able to readjust his body to keep the ball out of the net.
With the game headed into added time, both sides had a chance to win the game, with Podence linking up well with Neto, but Wolves’ new signing saw his shot blocked, while at the other end, Diogo Dalot's header just fell wide of the post.
Full-time: Man United 0 Wolves 0
Man United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, Pereira (Greenwood 72), Mata (Lingard 88), Fernandes, James (Dalot 88), Martial.
Unused subs: Romero, Jones, Williams, Chong.
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Jonny, Neves, Moutinho, Traore (Podence 76), Jota (Neto 70), Jimenez (Dendoncker 90).
Unused subs: Ruddy, Kilman, Gibbs-White, Jordao.
Referee: Paul Tierney