Manchester United will be counting their chickens after beating Wolves 1-0 as Andre Onana somehow got away with brutally taking out Sasa Kalajdzic with the visitors seemingly denied a stonewall penalty. United were strong favourites to ease past Wolves in their Premier League opener with Gary O’Neil’s side one of the early favourites for relegation this season.
But Wolves paid no attention to the script as they caused United all sorts of problems throughout the match. Erik ten Hag’s side were far from their creative best and the lack of a recognised striker was proving costly.
Marcus Rashford struggled to make an impact through the middle while Alejandro Garnacho and Antony found it tough to break down Wolves’ defence on the wing. Wolves were having the better of it in the second half and looked most likely to find the game’s opener before Raphael Varane popped up late on.
That failed to lift United though as Wolves spent the entire seven minutes of stoppage time camped in the host’s half. Onana had to come to United’s rescue on a number of occasions, but the summer signing appeared guilty of a rash decision in the dying seconds.
A looping ball was played into United’s box towards both Craig Dawson and Kalajdzic with Onana rushing off his line to try and punch the ball away. But the former Inter Milan goalkeeper completely missed the ball and wiped out Kalajdzic.
Referee Simon Hooper ignored initial pleas from Wolves players, letting play continue before the ball went out. O’Neil was apoplectic on the sidelines calling for a penalty while VAR reviewed the footage.
However, the decision was made to stick with the onfield decision of not awarding a penalty, much to the bemusement of the Wolves bench. To add insult to injury, O’Neil was booked by Hooper for his reaction on the sidelines.
Wolves continued to push for the equaliser until the very last second, but United were able to hold on for all three points. Onana has already had an eventful start to life at Old Trafford as he conceded a goal from the halfway line during preseason.
The 27-year-old also lambasted Harry Maguire in his first game after joining from Inter.