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Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United Live Commentary, 5/23/21

1 - 2
Nélson Semedo (39)
A. Elanga (13)
Mata (45+4 pen)
Molineux Stadium


But that's not until Wednesday. Until then in Gdansk, thank you for joining us - not just today, but throughout the entire Premier League season. We go again in August...
As for United, it's a second-placed finish and a 12-point gap to champions Manchester City. This was a decent way to end a decent Premier League campaign but Wednesday's fixture is far more season-defining. Beat Villarreal and win the Europa League then this has been a good season for the Red Devils...lose and, well, you could argue it's been mediocre.
And there goes the final whistle. It's a wrap on the Premier League season, and it's a wrap for Nuno Espirito Santo's tenure as Wolves boss. It wasn't quite the fairytale send-off he will have wanted but it's been a memorable period for the Molineux faithful under the Portuguese. In truth, though Semedo cancelled out Elanga's opener, Wolves struggled after Traore went off. The home fans may feel aggrieved at the VAR decision that led to United's winner, but it looked a fair enough call. Wolves finish the season in a credible 13th.
M. Gibbs-White
Yellow Card
Wolverhampton Wanderers
90' + 6' Gibbs-White enters the book now after racking up a series of fouls.
W. Fish
D. James
Manchester United
90' + 5' A final change for United in the closing stages, as young defender Fish replaces James deep into injury time.
90' + 5' Oooooh that would have been special! The United defence backs off an advancing Boly, who strikes from distance. It's not too far away, but goes wide of the right post. It would have been a memorable way to end Nuno's tenure!
90' + 3' As Matic receives treatement for a muscular issue, the Wolves fans bellow out 'Nuno had a dream'. Shouts then go up for handball against Williams, but nothing doing.
90' + 1' Not a bad effort from Gibbs-White. The midfielder plays the one-two and strikes a low effort from 25 yards wide of the right-hand post. Henderson had it covered anyway, though.
90' Wolves have huffed and puffed but not come close to blowing down the door in this second half. There are five minutes of injury time now to salvage something.
88' Time is fast running out now for Wolves to grab something from this game, will there be a late twist?
86' Hannibal and Shoretire work it down the left before James picks out Elanga, but his shot is high, wide and not too handsome. Still, there's promise for United fans to see these youngsters working so cohesively.
84' There's a problem here for Gibbs-White, who landed awkwardly on his shoulder when attempting an ambitious acrobatic. United goalkeeper Henderson quickly called for the medical personnel to enter the fray. The midfielder does eventually run off the pitch, though.
Fernando Marçal
R. Aït Nouri
Wolverhampton Wanderers
82' Wolves have also shuffled their options with Nouri Fernando replaced by Oliveira.
S. Shoretire
A. Diallo
Manchester United
82' A great outing for Amad comes to end, there's so much more to come from him. On in his place is Shoretire.
H. Mejbri
Manchester United
82' Is that the last we'll see of Juan Mata in a Manchester United shirt? He's been a great servant for Red Devils but at this stage of his career he may be off for pastures new. At the other end of the experience spectrum, on comes 18-year-old Hannibal Mejbri.
81' Amad tries the 20-yard effort, though it's too tame to test Patricio. He had runners off him and the shot might not have been his best option there.
79' Two huge blocks from Tuanzebe to deny Wolves! Semedo plays back Neves' long pass and there's briefly panic as Silva shapes to shoot, but twice he is foiled by the United centre-back.
77' Silva almost breaks in behind the United defence but the Red Devils defence recovers swiftly. Willian Jose had a free chance to cross from the right, only to pick out the hands of Henderson. Since coming on for Traore it just hasn't happened for the Wolves forward.
W. Boly
Yellow Card
Wolverhampton Wanderers
75' Conversely, that is very much a yellow card for Boly. He maybe won the ball but his lunge towards Diallo wasn't particularly clever.
74' The defending there was a little more panicky from United and Wolves are asking the question if Telles made contact with Neves in the area, but replays clearly show the United full-back making clean contact, no way was that a penalty.
72' It's all very side-to-side for Wolves. United are playing in two banks and just easily coping with everything Wolves are trying. They need a spark from somewhere if they're to send Nuno away without a defeat.
70' This one has just lost a little bit of oomph as the half has progressed. With United not really needing to press the issue and Wolves knocking it around okay but struggling to penetrate, we're in a bit of a lull period.
68' One of the biggest positives for Solskjaer so far is undoubtedly the performance of Amad. He has been confident, forward thinking and a constant threat with his pace. On this evidence he looks like he could a real player for the Red Devils going forward.
66' With his earlier goal, Semedo became the 40th Portuguese player to score in the Premier League.
64' Mike Dean is a polarising figure and the Wolves fans are giving the official a lot of stick, which in truth feels like a bit of pent up frustration at having to watch games at home for over a year. A big ironic cheer goes up when he blows for a foul against Williams, though.
62' It's a weak shot...or cross...or something from Nouri. The lead up play was good, the feet were pretty decent, the execution was not and Henderson can hold on easily.
M. Gibbs-White
L. Dendoncker
Wolverhampton Wanderers
60' A second change of the day for Wolves then, with Nuno sending on Gibbs-White for Dendoncker. You get the feeling the hosts will try and play just a little further forward now.
60' Great piece of defending there from Telles. Moutinho's pass from the centre of pitch looked destined to find Silva and spring a Wolves attack, but the United left-back had other ideas and acrobatically intercepts the ball.
58' Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Forgive us a second to let the laughter die down because quite frankly that was comical from James. Amad's throughball is weighted perfectly and the Wales winger's pace leaves him with just Patricio to beat...but his attempted dink is awful and it skews well wide of the left post. Not his finest moment in an otherwise good performance.
D. Henderson
Yellow Card
Manchester United
56' A needless booking really for United keeper Henderson, who takes an age to take a goal kick and is shown a yellow card.
55' Van de Beek has been busy for United today. It's been a frustrating first campaign at the Red Devils for the Dutchman but has a passing accuracy so far of just over 93 per cent, and has kept things ticking nicely for the visitors.
53' Wolves are seeing plenty of the ball at the start of this half and Nouri wins a corner off Wiliams, which is taken short. Eventually a cross comes in and falls to Neves, whose attempt at a long-ranger is deflected out for another corner that goes straight into the hands of Henderson.
51' Manchester United have lost their final league game in just one of their last 13 campaigns (W9 D3), going down 2-0 against Cardiff in 2018-19. When finishing their Premier League campaign away from home, the Red Devils are unbeaten in 10 games (W7 D3), since losing 3-1 at Spurs in 2000-01.
49' Everything Wolves have done well today has been down the right-hand side and it is that area of the pitch that once again almost yields reward. This time it's Semedo who finds success, crossing towards Willian Jose, but the striker can only head straight at Dean Henderson.
47' Amad tries to get beyond Boly on the right of the area, but Boly is too strong and muscles the youngster out the way and the ball trickles out for a goal kick.
45' Mike Dean gives his whistle a blow again and we're back underway at Molineux!
So, Nuno will need another big response from his Wolves side if they are to avoid defeat in his last game in charge, while United will hope for a goal or two more to head to Gdansk with plenty of momentum. There's life in this one yet, stick with us for the second half...
That penalty from Mata proved the last meaningful action of a decent first half. Elanga's header from James' wicked cross had United in front and things worsened for Wolves when dangerman Traore went off injured but credit to the hosts, who responded through Semedo after a fine build up. However, an intervention from VAR late in the half gifted United an opportunity that Mata swiftly accepted.
Penalty Goal
Manchester United
45' + 4' GOAL! United lead again 2-1! This might be Mata's last appearance in a Man Utd shirt with his contract up at the end of June. The classy Spaniard sends Patricio the wrong way and clinically sticks his effort into the left-hand side of the goal. The Wolves fans are aiming their anger at VAR and Mike Dean, and their team have it all to do again.
45' + 3' After a lengthy delay, which sees Mike Dean go over to the monitor for another look, the decision is overturned and United have the chance to take the lead on the stroke of half-time. Admittedly it looked like a penalty on first viewing...
45' + 1' That is a huge, huge call from Mike Dean. Van de Beek travels across the penalty area and appears to get clipped by Saiss. It's absolutely no shock to see this one going to VAR...
43' Big chance for 2-1!! Williams seemed surprised to find himself one on one against Patricio and can only shoot straight at the goalkeeper. Probably not the player United wanted in that situation. Telles then blazes a half-volley over the top. It's an escape for Wolves.
L. Dendoncker
Yellow Card
Wolverhampton Wanderers
41' And Dendoncker is quickly booked too for arguing about the Nouri decision.
R. Aït Nouri
Yellow Card
Wolverhampton Wanderers
41' Nouri is the first name to go into the book for a late trip on Elanga, despite the moans of the crowd.
Fábio Silva
Wolverhampton Wanderers
39' It was all about the build-up for this one but credit to Silva who just about did enough to find the onrushing Semedo. We said Wolves needed to find a way to get in behind and they found a route in brilliant fashion.
Nélson Semedo
Wolverhampton Wanderers
39' WOLVES ARE LEVEL THROUGH SEMEDO IT'S 1-1! It's a fantastic team goal from Wolves with Dendoncker setting Silva into the area. It looked as though he'd taken too long to square it, but he just about squeezes it into the path of Semedo, who rolls into the bottom-left corner for his first goal in a Wolves shirt!
38' Wolves have had much less success getting in behind since Traore went off injured, they need to figure out a way to put pressure on the visitors' backline.
36' The fans are bellowing an unsavoury chant about Mike Dean after Neves stays down following a challenge from Amad...but in truth there's absolutely nothing in it and the referee was right not to award a free kick.
34' Elanga is the 19th player to score for Manchester United in the Premier League as a teenager, only Arsenal have had more (20)
32' The Wolves fans are trying to will their team on now, but United's pace is an issue and Boly had to react quick to quell the threat of Amad in behind the defence.
30' Oh attack it!! Neves plays in another delivery from the right but neither Silva or Willian Jose are on the move! There were a few groans from the Wolves fans after that one, understandably so.
28' Silva tries to find his new strike partner Willian Jose with an early ball from the right but it's poorly executed and goes out for a United goal kick.
Willian José
Adama Traoré
Wolverhampton Wanderers
27' Ah that is real, real shame for Wolves and Traore. The winger appeared to be struggling with a hamstring issue a few moments earlier and he can no longer continue. United's defenders will breathe a sigh of relief but in terms of the game it's a genuine disappointment to see him hobble off to be replaced by Willian Jose.
24' That corner also comes to nothing, but United will be keen to get a grip on Traore, who had penalty claims waved away when going up against Tuanzebe...and rightly so, if anything Mike Dean should probably have stuck his name in the book for simulation.
22' United are knocking the ball about with more authority since the goal, but Traore keeps isolating United defenders in one v one situations, this time skipping past Matic and earning his team a corner. Eventually after a bout of pinball, Wolves win another corner.
20' Chance for Wolves! Traore is proving a bit of a thorn in the United defence and the rapid winger holds up a cross from the right that Fabio Silva puts wide with a glancing header. Would the forward have been better off leaving that one for Dendoncker?
18' Manchester United have lost just one of their last seven Premier League meetings with Wolves (W3 D3), going down 2-1 at Molineux in April 2019.
16' Bailly could possibly do better with that one. Telles' left-wing corner is met by the head of the centre-back, who had the run on his marker but can only nod wide.
14' That goal is undoubtedly a blow for Wolves and Nuno, how can they respond?
D. James
Manchester United
13' It's a great moment for Elanga, but the delivery from James was just as impressive. He delivered early, and delivered accurately. A textbook piece of wing play.
A. Elanga
Manchester United
13' GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!! ELANGA SCORES ON HIS SECOND LEAGUE START! James is set free by down the left flank and the Welshman's teasing early delivery is headed home from point-blank range by the 19-year-old. It's Manchester United who lead Wolves 1-0!
10' Tuanzebe had to be alert to deal with a cute Neves chip in behind the United defence. Moutinho's follow up corner was flicked by Saiss, and eventually Wolves win another set-piece from the other side but again it comes to nothing.
8' Oooft! Could Elanga do better there? United work the ball left to Dan James, whose pass into the area finds the teenager. He took a decent touch out of feet but his left-foot effort goes wildly off target when really he should probably at least work the goalkeeper.
6' The Wolves fans, watching their team inside the stadium for the first time since restrictions imposed due to coronavirus were lifted, demand a wave from Nuno, who duly obliges. On the pitch, Telles plays a great long ball over the top that Elanga just fails to control - a first sign of danger for the home side.
4' United have yet to really settle into this one, albeit we're still in the infancy of the game. On a couple of occasions the visitors have been caught out in midfield, but perhaps a lack of cohesion is to be expected given the raft of changes.
2' Good strength from Traore, who outmuscles Matic on the right wing and drives towards goal. His shot is dragged wide of the far post but it's been a decent start from Wolves.
1' Referee Mike Dean blows his whistle and Wolves get us underway at Molineux!
The teams are out on the pitch and we are moments away from kick-off at Molineux...
This is the first Premier League game that Bruno Fernandes has not featured in for Manchester United since joining. He had played in all 51 of their PL games since his debut before today.
Nuno makes three changes for his final XI in charge of Wolves. Saiss, Dendoncker and Patricio all return. Meanwhile, Solskjaer makes wholesale alterations, the Norwegian taking the chance to rest the majority of his star names ahead of the Europa League final. He hands opportunities to several youngsters, with Elanga handed his second league start up top, while Diallo makes his full top-flight debut.
MAN UTD SUBSTITUTES: Scott McTominay, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, William Fish, Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof, Mason Greenwood, Shola Shoretire, Lee Grant, Hannibal Mejbri.
MAN UTD (4-2-3-1): Dean Henderson; Brandon Wiliams, Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly, Alex Telles; Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek; Daniel James, Juan Mata, Amad Diallo Traore; Anthony Elanga.
WOLVES SUBSTITUTES: Morgan Gibbs-White, Willian Jose, Andreas Sondergaard, Vitinha, Marcal, John Ruddy, Maximilian Kilman, Ki-Jana Hoever.
WOLVES (3-5-2): Rui Patricio; Willy Boly, Conor Coady, Romain Saiss; Nelson Semedo, Leander Dendoncker, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Rayan Ait Nouri; Adama Traore, Fabio Silva.
Of course, this fixture is a mere warm-up act in a week that sees United play the Europa League final against Villarreal in Gdansk, a huge opportunity for Solskjaer to win a first piece of silverware as Reds Devils boss. That game will naturally be the focus, but first there's a professional job to be done here at Molineux. With that in mind, we'll run through the teams for you shortly...
Even more impressively, if United avoid defeat, they will become just the fourth side to remain unbeaten away from home across an entire English top-flight campaign, after Preston (1888-89), Arsenal (2001-02) and Arsenal again (2003-04).
Regardless of the outcome of today's fixture, the Red Devils are guaranteed to finish second and play Champions League football again next season. While the gap to champions and rivlas Manchester City remains significant, it has been another season of improvement under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - who saw his side win just two of their opening six league matches and fail to win each of their opening four home games in the Premier League this term.
For Wolves, this fixture not only brings down the curtain on the 2020-21 campaign but also on the era of head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, who will depart the club after four years. Under Nuno, Wolves achieved promotion back to the Premier League and consecutive seventh-placed finishes in the top flight. There was also a run to the quarter-finals of the Europa League last term and, while this campaign has been somewhat mediocre in comparison (albeit in the context of having sold Diogo Jota to Liverpool, and losing star striker Raul Jimenez to serious injury), the Wolves fans back in attendance today will be sure to give the boss a fond farewell.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of this season-ending Premier League fixture between Wolves and Manchester United at Molineux!