Man Utd 0 Wolves 1: Joao Moutinho ends 42-year wait for Old Trafford win as Ralf Rangnick loses first game

RALF RANGNICK hasn't even had a honeymoon period and there are already murmurs of divorce.

Apart from the first 35 minutes against Burnley this has been a very uninspiring start to his reign.

One that on Monday suffered it's first after a Joao Moutinho strike in the 82nd minute decided this game.

A game Wolves thoroughly deserve to win.

Bruno Fernandes injury time free-kick superbly saved by Jose Sa would have been harsh on Wolves had it gone in.

There was some mitigation for United’s performance given this was their third game in eight days compared to Wolves, who due to Covid call offs, hadn’t played in 15.

But United fans have grown tired of excuses and apologies.

The extra freshness certainly showed with Wolves dominating all but a short spell of play after the hour mark.

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The opening period was particularly alarming for United as the visitors had 15 shots and four on target and forced six corners. United had four shots, one on target and had no corners.

Wolves, however, just don’t turn periods of dominance into goals often enough.

Only Norwich have scored less than their 15 goals with only eight for the rock bottom Canaries.

But while they find it difficult to score they also don’t let many in with leaders Manchester City the only side to have a better defensive record in the league with 13 goals conceded to Wolves 14.

Indeed their recent defeats to the top two were only down to a dodgy penalty at City and a 94th minute concession to Liverpool at Molineux, both games finishing 1-0.

They fear no one and certainly not a United team who have been distinctly average for quite some time.

Rangnick’s call for more intensity, energy and control in this game certainly went unheeded as they began on the back foot and stayed on it for most of the games.

He was lucky that David De Gea was on his toes in the opening half as he saved from Daniel Podence and Nelson Semedo at either near post.

He also took flight to tip over a brilliant volley from Francisco Trincao. Think Mateo Kovacic for Chelsea against Liverpool then night before and then some.

A Wolves corner was headed out by Raphael Varane and Trincao kept it in the air with his knee and then from an angle 20 yards out fired a shot towards the far top corner that De Gea tipped over.

Then when Marcal broke forward and crossed Raul Jiminez was wasteful when unmarked at the near post steering a header wide.

For United’s part there was a brilliant piece of skill early in the game when Mason Greenwood controlled a high ball and in one movement swivelled and sent Jadon Sancho through.

It was two-on-two with Cristiano Ronaldo to his left but he chose the shot which was blocked.

It was another frustrating half for Ronaldo who at one point was seen muttering behind his hand to fellow Portuguese international Joao Moutinho in the centre of the pitch, what about goodness knows.

Maybe about the quality of service he was getting, or lack of it.

Edinson Cavani was once again partnering him up front but had only one chance all game late in the first half after being found by Luke Shaw, which he blasted over from 20 yards.

United needed some inspiration and on the hour it had come briefly with Bruno Fernandes brought off the bench into the action.

The fans were unhappy that it was Mason Greenwood making way, booing that decision, but they knew they needed Fernandes and in an instant there was an energy about United previously lacking.

Scott McTominay wriggled to the byline and pulled the ball back and Fernandes close range shot crashed off the bar.

He then delivered a free-kick that Ronaldo turned in, but the offside flag denied him, as it often does these days. That yard has gone.

Wolves had made a change too bringing on Adama Traore and on his first foray forward it was clear Nemanja Matic could not keep up and so he tripped just short of where a penalty would have resulted.

Romain Saiss stepped up to the free kick and curled a shot over the wall that hit the top of the cross bar.

Then when Traore got to the byline and crossed Jones headed clear but Moutinho was unmarked on the edge of the area.

His attempts to control were clumsy as he knocked the ball into the ground with the undersole of his boot but he had enough time and space so that didn’t matter and he sent a bouncing shot into the bottom corner.

He went crazy in celebration as did the away fan.

Another crisis looms at Old Trafford.

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