Positive signs came from Manchester United in their opening day four-nil win over Chelsea last weekend in the Premier League in which fans will be hoping they can take into a difficult away fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

After a transfer window that had some ups, but also some downs, the Red Devils were not expected to start their campaign off in such a resounding way. While there were times in which Frank Lampard’s side were unfortunate to not have scored – and instead hitting the post – Man United showed what they are capable of in the final third and by counter-attacking.

By signing Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to enforce their leaky defence, it allowed the likes of Andreas Pereira and Paul Pogba the freedom needed to create something in attack. And while the World Cup-winning midfielder might not have had his best game, he managed to record two assists and have a positive impact when threading balls into Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

The two English defenders showed exactly what they are about in defence and will give the team a monumental boost throughout the season. Wan-Bissaka, whose nickname is ‘The Spider’ because of his long legs, was not beaten down his right-hand side and consistently recovered possession and tried to transition from defence into attack.

Maguire, similarly, looked extremely adept in the middle of defence alongside Victor Lindelof, with the two just getting to know one another on and off the pitch. The former Leicester City defender expressed what he is about as a defender with some dribbles out from the back but also some finely-tuned spatial awareness to know what is going on around him at all times.

What comes next is the interesting part that Manchester United will have to face head on. Last season, United lost twice when travelling to the Molineux Stadium in emphatic fashion.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring their second goal during the pre-season friendly match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Villareal at Molineux on August 4, 2018 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

One of the main areas of concerns over the past 12 months has been the team’s lack of concentration in consecutive fixtures. Playing well against a top six side is needed if they are to be competitive this season, but it will be a case of one step forward two steps back if they then do not capitalise on their advantage against ‘lesser’ opposition.

Wolves have shown what they are all about since being promoted in 2018 and will be no pushovers. They have a smart midfield and a striker in Raul Jimenez who can punish the very best of defences. What will be key is Maguire’s intelligence to mark the Mexico international out of the game and keep him quiet – which is not something that has happened frequently.

Fans of the Red Devils are not pretending everything is perfect, but there are clear signs under Ole Gunnar Solskjær that what they are practicing on the training pitch is coming to life when it matters. There has been a clear structure this summer in terms of recruitment by targeting hungrier players, but it is time for the club to show supporters that they have learnt from previous mistakes.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

Join the discussion