Wolves dent Manchester United’s top-four hopes as Ashley Young is sent off

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The uncertainty went right through United. Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw, the two wing-backs, were both booked when they found themselves out of position. For all his tenacity, Young looked distinctly uncomfortable even before his two yellow cards. First he swept away Jota’s legs. Then the United captain was played into trouble by McTominay’s pass and slid after it, his foot bouncing off the ball and then his studs into Jota’s leg.

The historic occasion of Dean’s 100th red card was not quite the game-changing controversy that one might assume such a moment deserved. Rather there was the decisive stride towards the offender, a pre-emptive shake of the head to indicate his likely attitude towards any protest and then a double-handed verdict of doom. Young had his captain’s armband off before the red was out.

United had looked a better side in the early stages of the second half, but that was over now, and they started to tire. Jones headed Moutinho’s cross into his own area. Jimenez might have got the faintest of touches, but it was Smalling who eventually put it over the line. United next play against Barcelona at Old Trafford next Wednesday and there is much for their manager to think about as to what will work best against one of the strongest sides in Europe.

Wolves’ next opponents are rather less celebrated, but victory would mean just as much.

Player ratings

Wolves (3-5-2)

Patricio 7; Bennett 7, Coady 7, Boly 6; Doherty 7, Dendoncker 7, Moutinho 8, Neves 7, Vinagre 7; Raul Jimenez 8, Jota 8.

Cavaleiro/Jota 71 Otto/Vinagre 76 Saiss/Neves 84

Manchester United: (3-4-2-1) 

De Gea 5; Young 4, Smalling 5, Lindelof 6; Dalot 5, Fred 5, McTominay 6, Shaw 6; Pogba 5, Lingard 5; Lukaku 5.

Jones/Fred 65 Martial/Lukaku 71 Pereira/Dalot 84



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