Nothing was riding on this game for either side and in truth, the game was played with that intensity. But there was still passages of play where lovely football broke out. The first goal was one of them. A brilliant cross from James on his weaker foot was planted on Elanga’s head, which zoomed past Rui Patricio. A Matic slip allowed Wolves to break through the midfield and Semedo was able to stick the ball away in the box. The winner was shrouded in controversy as yet another penalty – deservedly so I might add – was awarded for Man Utd. Saiss clipped Van De Beek, who went down in delayed fashion. Mata, what many believe to be his last game, stuck the penalty. He pointed to the sky for his late mother and if it was his last game, it would a fitting tribute. Hannibal Mejbri came on for his first game as a Man Utd and hopefully it will be the first of many. A whole season without an away loss is an incredible feat, even if the lack of fans often played to the away teams advantage. All guns blazing for Gdansk!
Amad-ness is brewing
It was a dead rubber in all senses of the word but it was still hard not to get excited when Amad was playing as he was. Before kick off, it was thought that it would be Elanga playing through the middle and the Ivorian wonderkid playing on the wide right. In fact, it would be the opposite. He was playing as a proper false 9 rather than trying to play as a fixed central striker. He would regularly drop in beside Mata when Wolves would build up from the back so it would mirror a 4-4-2 but the two being attacking midfielders. When United had the ball, he would come alive and pick up incredibly clever positions so that the ball could be fed straight into his feet. If he was in all white linen, his floating across the pitch would match the ethereal nature that he done it with. The composure he showed under pressure and in tight spaces was something you would expect of a player far older than 18 years old. The mentality to constantly demand for it and sometimes taking the ball off other players rather than waiting for it to come to him shows he is unafraid and wants to take responsibility. There are times where he did overdo it, one occasion in his own half which almost led to a good Wolves chance. Unfortunately, with how the team was set up behind him, it was hard for him to get proper goalscoring opportunities as he was the one actually making us tick, with Elanga and James making the runs in behind for him to find. Amad found James once with a beautiful weighted pass in behind, that the Welshman fluffed with a quite pathetic finish. It would have been a great feather to cap off his day.
Double Pivot Dutch
Being brought in for £40 million, everyone would have expected that Van De Beek would play a lot more than he has this season. It was a signing that didn’t make much sense to many seeing as Bruno would not be moved out of the 10 role and it was unlikely he would get much time in the double pivot that Solskjaer loves to employ. However, he was deployed in that role today alongside Matic and it provided a good alternative as he finally showed the intelligence and ball progression that Man Utd fans have been crying out for this season. We all know his strengths, having come through the system at Ajax, his ball reception and combination play is fantastic and you saw it today. He was excellent at moving the ball through the thirds, his third man runs at times was able to give our attack the depth it was sometimes missing and he was very disciplined in his movement. In all honesty, it was something that should have been utilised a lot more throughout the season and hopefully it is something that is used more next season as we try to see out games, giving us the extra bit of control.