As the final whistle blew at Old Trafford on Sunday, Manchester United fans across the world breathed a huge sigh of relief as their team passed a tricky test early in the season and that too, with flying colours. After a dismal season last time around, United have what seems ‘finally’ begun their revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, getting off to a great start in the 2019/20 campaign by smashing rivals Chelsea 4-0 in their first game of the season.
The forwards Rashford and Martial looked exceptionally sharp while Pogba and McTominay took complete control of the midfield in what was a splendid second-half performance by Manchester United. New boys Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bisakka put in solid performances and it looks like they have settled in just fine, making a necessary upgrade to the United defence.
However, one should not get too carried away as the score-line is a bit misleading because, in the first half, Chelsea hit the woodwork twice and created all sorts of danger.
United planned to sit back and counter with the help of a very quick attacking trio up-top and that is exactly what they did, punishing Chelsea for failing to take their chances. However, United looked a bit sloppy in possession and will face a lot of difficulty in getting past teams who sit deep, leaving it on United to attempt to stretch them.
The Red Devils face one such opponent this weekend as they travel to face Wolverhampton Wanderers. Although the first team put up a really decent performance in their last outing, let’s go through a couple of changes Ole needs to make in order to obtain a positive result against Wolves.
The Welsh international was handed a brief spell last weekend and he did not fail to impress, scoring a goal within minutes of coming on. He took the Chelsea defenders for a ride, getting past them with relative ease and will surely play a major factor against Wolves if he is selected in the starting XI.
His blistering pace will leave the defenders dazed and his direct and positive approach to the game might just be too hot for Wolves to handle. James definitely has the capability to beat Andreas Pereira to a first-team spot and it remains to be seen whether Solskjaer hands him his first start of the season this weekend.
Although Andres Pereira provided a sumptuous cross that led to a goal against Chelsea; he kept quiet for large chunks of the match and did not appear to affect the opponents much.
Spanish veteran Mata possesses the perfect blend of experience, intelligence and creativity to pierce through a rigid defence like Wolves’. With Pogba and McTominay sharing the defensive workload in the midfield, Mata, if handed a start will bring in abundance of resourcefulness in attack, using his vision to feed the likes of Marcus Rashford and the out of position striker/winger Anthony Martial who, given the right kind of supply will be able to put the game to bed in a jiffy.
Hence, we foresee at least one change out of the above two in the coming weeks, if not necessarily against Wolves, where Ole might be keen to retain his trust in the winning combination to start off with.