Wolves 1 – Man United 1
On the one hand, there were distinct signs of improvement for Manchester United at Wolves on Monday.
Last season, in three matches between these sides, Wolves won twice, while the other was a draw.
At Molineux last night, Man United dominated large parts of the match, especially in the first-half.
Anthony Martial opened for United with a terrific shot past Rui Patricio. And, arguably, United should have gone into the break with at least a two-goal lead.
However, Wolves dramatically improved after the break.
Raul Jimenez hit the inside of the post with a header, before Ruben Neves cracked home a stunner off the underside of the bar.
That said, Man United blew the opportunity to win the match when a Paul Pogba penalty was saved by Patricio in the 68th minute.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 19, 2019
Marcus Rashford vs Chelsea
Should Pogba have taken Man United’s penalty last night?
A week earlier, in the 4-0 win over Chelsea, Marcus Rashford scored from the spot.
After the Chelsea game, Rashford confirmed to MUTV that Man United have decided that they have several options when it comes to taking penalties.
How did Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explain Pogba’s penalty miss?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was naturally asked to explain why Pogba, and not Rashford, took the penalty against Wolves.
The Man United manager said the following:
The two of them are designated penalty takers. It is up to them who take it there and then.
Sometimes players feel like they are confident to score. Today Patricio made a good save.
You can see the slide on the powerpoint that this is the plan.
We won’t change it after this week. The two have been confident. Last week Marcus scored a goal and today Paul was confident.
I like players with confidence.
Chris Sutton slams Solskjaer’s explanation
Speaking on BBC 5 Live radio, Chris Sutton attacked Solskjaer’s comments on the Man United penalty situation.
Sutton accused OGS of “weak management”, in failing to take control of the issue.
Why has Solskjaer left it up to his players to decide who is the penalty-taker?
A decisive moment as Paul Pogba has a penalty saved by Patricio
‘Why would Pogba take it?’ – @chris_sutton73
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) August 19, 2019
Gary Neville also reacted badly
Gary Neville also fumed about Pogba’s penalty miss.
During his post-match analysis on Sky Sports, Neville launched into the following tirade:
Before he even actually took the penalty, I was fuming.
The only reason I’m holding back is because four years ago when [Kevin] Mirallas took it off [Everton team-mate Leighton] Baines I called it a despicable act. It’s treachery in football terms, taking a penalty off your team-mate.
However, we look back at the penalty from last week that Marcus Rashford took against Chelsea, and Paul Pogba walked up to Rashford and they had a long chat.
I’m not sure if Rashford took the one off Pogba last week and Pogba should’ve taken the one from last week, looking at what we’ve seen from the Chelsea game. But they had a long chat again. I don’t like it. Why is there a debate on who takes a penalty? There should never be a debate. There’s a penalty taker.
Pogba’s missed four in the last 12 months. You’d think that he’s had his chance now.
Rashford scored last week – take the penalty! But there wasn’t a leader out on the pitch. There’s [Daniel] James there, there’s Martial, they couldn’t make a decision between them.
This is a Manchester United penalty. This is not a tombola. This is not under-5s on the playground.
Something wasn’t right. Something’s not right there. All I’m holding back on is that initially I was fuming at Pogba, it’s typical you, you’re selfish, why are you even thinking of taking a penalty off a player?
Actually, last week’s one when I’m looking at it against Chelsea, it’s weird. Something’s not right.