Manchester United endured another difficult night at Molineux in their midweek matchup against elusive bogey team Wolverhampton Wanderers. It compounds a frustrating period that has now led to three losses in four matches for the Red Devils.
United had the opportunity to go up in the opening minute after Jesse Lingard surged at the Wolves defence immediately from kick off. United then piled on consistent pressure which led to Scott McTominay neatly slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net to go 0-1 up.
The opening 20 minutes were without a doubt United’s, and chances to increase their lead were squandered. Wolves eventually broke from United’s grip on possession to surge forward and score with their first attempt at getting the ball into the box on 25 minutes.
A cagey match followed as United let slip their dominant forward play to allow Wolves more time on the ball, eventually proving costly for the Manchester outfit.
As time wore on Wolves eventually broke down United’s defence. A swinging cross sparked chaos and confusion in the box leading to a Chris Smalling own goal, as star goalkeeper David de Gea could only look on in despair.
It leaves United’s top four ambitions in serious doubt. The Norwegian was quick to level the loss against Wolves on their shoulders, saying United “created their own downfall”, adding the performance of Wolves Portuguese keeper Rui Patricio was a fly in the ointment for his team on Tuesday night.
The United manager reiterated the positives to be taken from the match saying his team’s performance “deserved a win”.
When Solskjær took over at the back end of last December, it looked like United’s top four hopes were finished, but an impressive rebirth has led to United fighting for a seat at the Champions League table once again.
Their recent run of poor form could yet prove the defining moment of their season come May. Solskjær has said United “don’t have room for many more losses” emphasising the need for at least 15 points from their remaining six league fixtures.
All is left to play for with four teams fighting for third and four place to gift themselves Champions League football next season. Along with the title it makes the final few weeks of Premier League football an exciting and nail biting prospect. To level a bet on the race for top four make sure you consult a betting expert who can give you the best betting offers to go with whoever you choose to back.
It was a weekend of mixed fortunes that have since seen the balance upset in the top four. Arsenal’s comfortable 2-0 win at home to Newcastle on Monday night saw them leapfrog North London rivals Spurs into third place.
Arsenal’s home form has been a bastion of hope this season. They’ll look to continue in the same vein on the road, as they hope to secure Champions League football for the first time in three seasons.
Spurs haven’t had much to cheer about on the pitch in recent weeks. Their loss away to title hopefuls Liverpool will be a bitter pill to swallow considering the positive performance Pochettino’s men put in. They look to be in freefall though, not recording a win in the last five.
The Chelsea fans were chanting for manager Maurizio Sarri to get the sack as they trailed 1-0 away to Cardiff on Sunday afternoon. Somehow they managed to pull it back to steal the three points from under Cardiff boss Neil Warnock’s nose.
It leaves all four teams with only a handful of points between them, but the cause for concern for United is a rough and ready fixture list. United have drawn Barcelona in the Champions League and Solskjær will want to throw everything he has at Messi and co.
In the league United still have to face City in a postponed Manchester derby at Old Trafford, as well having to navigate top four rivals Chelsea along the way
It’s going to be a tough proposition if United don’t start finishing teams off when they have the opportunity. Solskjær fancies his team’s chances against the top teams, “we are a very good team as well so it’s going to be difficult for the ones that have to play us”.
The Norwegian will need all his big guns firing over the coming weeks. He knows it’s much better to get the points on the board yourself than hoping for potential moments of weakness from your immediate rivals.