Manchester United v Wolves: Match in pictures
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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick took the ‘easy’ option in substituting Mason Greenwood during the Red Devils’ defeat by Wolves on Monday night, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has insisted. Greenwood’s withdrawal was met by boos inside Old Trafford, with the United fans clearly unhappy with the decision.
The 20-year-old was actually one of United’s better players in what was a disappointing team performance.
He started in an attacking line-up that included a front four of himself, Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Jadon Sancho.
But he was replaced by Bruno Fernandes on the hour-mark in a switch that did not go down well inside the ground.
Fernandes’ introduction did not help United, despite him striking the bar and having a free kick well saved by Jose Sa in the final minute.
Joao Moutinho scored the game’s only goal with nine minutes remaining, handing Wolves a first away win against United in over 40 years.
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Ex-England man Wright was baffled by Rangnick taking off Greenwood. The 58-year-old believes the decision was the ‘easy’ one to make.
“I think that was a sacrifice because it’s easy to take him off,” Wright told Premier League Productions.
“You’re not going to take off Cavani or Ronaldo. He’s taken off Greenwood who is someone at the age where he is kind of fearless. We know what he is capable of doing.
“He’s always going to get on the ball and dribble at people. You don’t take that off because he is going to do something at some stage that’s going to create a chance.
“When you consider [Nemanja] Matic and [Scott] McTominay played the whole 90 minutes when they needed something, I am baffled by that.”
Rangnick caused further confusion when insisted Greenwood did not play as badly as some of his team-mates.
United’s attack appeared disjointed. That was evidenced when Sancho opted not to play Ronaldo through on goal and instead had a tame shot blocked.
Cavani also chose to shoot instead of passing to Greenwood, who was in a better position, during a frustrating first half.
“His effort and performance was not outstanding,” Rangnick said of replacing Greenwood, “but at least he was one of the better players today.”
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On the overall performance, the former RB Leipzig head coach added: “We didn’t play well at all individually or collectively.
“In the first half, we had big problems to keep them away from our goal.
“In the second half we changed to a back three and had more control then a spell of 15 minutes where we could have scored.
“The goal we conceded, we had enough players in the box. The cross had been defended by Jones but the goal we conceded was like too many this season.”
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