EPL

Wolves 1-2 Manchester United: Elanga and Mata secure unbeaten away campaign

By Sports Desk May 23, 2021

Manchester United ended the Premier League season without losing an away match as they beat Wolves 2-1 at Molineux on the final day.

With one eye on next week's Europa League final and with second place in the table secure, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rested the majority of his key players against a Wolves side playing under coach Nuno Espirito Santo for the final time.

Anthony Elanga marked his second Premier League start with the opening goal, but Nelson Semedo equalised for the home side to the delight of the reduced-capacity crowd.

Juan Mata, perhaps playing his final league game for the club, restored United's lead from the penalty spot deep into first-half injury time.

It proved enough for the Red Devils, who also handed a first-team debut to youngster Hannibal Mejbri as a late substitute.

Elanga's control and shooting had let him down with two early opportunities, but he made no mistake with his third, planting a firm header past Rui Patricio from a superb left-foot cross from Daniel James.

Wolves, who lost the lively Adama Traore to an apparent hamstring problem, levelled six minutes before the break after exploiting the United left. Nemanja Matic's slip allowed Leander Dendoncker to play in Fabio Silva, who cut the ball back for Semedo to sweep into the bottom-left corner.

Brandon Williams had an unlikely chance to restore United's lead but Patricio saved well at the near post from the full-back's effort.

However, the visitors got their second goal before the interval, Mata sending Patricio the wrong way from the penalty spot after a VAR check showed Romain Saiss had caught the ankle of Donny van de Beek.

Wolves enjoyed the majority of the second-half possession but struggled to muster attempts on Dean Henderson's goal, with Silva denied a good chance by the covering Axel Tuanzebe after Eric Bailly's error.

Elanga and Amad Diallo threatened on the break late on but Patricio was on hand to keep the difference to one goal.


What does it mean? United complete 2020-21 unbeaten on the road

United are just the fourth team to go an entire English top-flight season without losing an away match, after Preston North End (1888-89), Arsenal (2001-02) and Arsenal again (2003-04).

They end the season second, their highest finish since 2017-18, although the 12-point gap to champions Manchester City shows their need to strengthen before next term. Wolves end the campaign in 13th, with 45 points.

Elanga makes his mark

Elanga is the 19th teenager to score in the Premier League for United, a tally bettered only by Arsenal (20).

The 19-year-old may not be involved against Villarreal, but he has made significant strides into the first-team picture in recent weeks and could prove a reliable option for Solskjaer in 2021-22.

Bailly a concern ahead of Europa League final

With Harry Maguire unlikely to be fit, it is expected Bailly will partner Victor Lindelof against Villarreal next week.

However, the Ivorian's performance was far from steady here and he needed his young centre-back partner Tuanzebe to spare his blushes.

What's next?

While Wolves now look ahead to a new season with a new man in charge, United have three days to prepare for the Europa League final in Gdansk.

Related items

  • Eriksen vows he 'won't give up' as he looks to 'understand' what caused cardiac arrest Eriksen vows he 'won't give up' as he looks to 'understand' what caused cardiac arrest

    Christian Eriksen has thanked those who assisted him after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch against Finland on Saturday and now wants to "understand what happened".

    Inter midfielder Eriksen collapsed in the first half of the Euro 2020 match in Copenhagen with no other player around him.

    He was given CPR by medics and the fixture was originally suspended, but once Eriksen was confirmed to be "awake" the game resumed just under two hours later, Finland going on to win 1-0.

    The Danish Football Union (DBU) provided an update on Sunday, confirming that he had suffered a cardiac arrest but his condition was stable pending further examinations.

    Team doctor Morten Boesen detailed how he could initially feel a pulse when he arrived at Eriksen's side, but that "suddenly changed" and meant CPR was necessary.

    The medical team and Denmark captain Simon Kjaer were widely praised for their respective roles, with the centre-back quickly placing Eriksen in the recovery position.

    And, speaking through his agent to Gazzetta dello Sport, Eriksen relayed a brief message of thanks as he now sets about learning why it happened.

    He said: "Thank you, I won't give up. I feel better now, but I want to understand what happened. I want to say thank you all for what you did for me."

    Denmark are next due to be in action on Thursday against Belgium.

  • Rumour Has It: Barca want De Ligt and Leicester eye Coutinho as Man Utd hold further Sancho talks Rumour Has It: Barca want De Ligt and Leicester eye Coutinho as Man Utd hold further Sancho talks

    Could Matthijs de Ligt leave Juventus?

    De Ligt joined Juve from Ajax in 2019 but his future has been a topic of discussion.

    Barcelona were strongly linked with him before he left the Eredivisie and are reportedly still keen admirers.

     

    TOP STORY – DE LIGT A BARCA TARGET

    Barcelona are keen on signing Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, according to Le10 Sport.

    LaLiga giants Barca have already brought in Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, while they are also said to be interested in Memphis Depay of Lyon and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

    But it is claimed they are particularly eager to further bolster their defence in addition to Garcia's arrival, though they could face competition for De Ligt – Manchester United have long been linked with the Netherlands international.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Mundo Deportivo reports Leicester City are considering a move for Barca outcast Philippe Coutinho. It would be a reunion for Brendan Rodgers and Coutinho after working together at Liverpool.

    Atletico Madrid are eyeing Hakan Calhanoglu as an alternative to Udinese star Rodrigo de Paul. LaLiga champions Atletico want De Paul, who has also been linked with JuveInter and Leeds United. Should they miss out on the Argentina international, Calhanoglu is an option – the Milan star's contract expires at the end of June.

    United have held further talks with Borussia Dortmund in their pursuit of Jadon Sancho, says Fabrizio Romano. Dortmund reportedly want £81million (€95m), though United are currently unwilling to pay more than £60m (€70m). Liverpool and Chelsea have also been linked previously.

    - Romano also reports Gianluigi Donnarumma's contract with Paris Saint-Germain until 2026 has been agreed. The Italy international goalkeeper is set to join PSG on a free transfer following the end of his Milan deal.

    - According to Corriere dello Sport, Milan are in talks to sign Real Madrid pair Brahim Diaz and Alvaro Odriozola on loan. The Rossoneri have also been linked with Luka Jovic and are seemingly poised to secure the permanent signing of Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea as well.

  • Blue Jays crush eight homers in 18-4 rout of Red Sox, Tatis' grand slam lifts Padres Blue Jays crush eight homers in 18-4 rout of Red Sox, Tatis' grand slam lifts Padres

    The Toronto Blue Jays produced an offensive avalanche as they humbled American League (AL) East rivals the Boston Red Sox 18-4.

    Toronto lit up Boston with eight homers on 20 hits in Sunday's devastating MLB victory at Fenway Park.

    Teoscar Hernandez hit a pair of three-run homers, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Cavan Biggio, Rowdy Tellez and Marcus Semien also went deep.

    It was a devastating display as the Blue Jays pounded the Red Sox, who allowed the most home runs in their history on home soil.

    Bichette became the third player in Blue Jays history with a four-hit, five-run game as Guerrero continued his stellar season – the Toronto star now leads in MLB in home runs, RBI, OBP, SLG, OPS and total bases.

     

    Slam Diego!

    The San Diego Padres defeated the New York Mets 7-3 thanks to Fernando Tatis Jr. Tatis hit a tie-breaking grand slam in the seventh inning to help snap a four-game skid. Padres team-mate Manny Machado followed with a home run.

    Walker Buehler pitched six scoreless innings as World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Texas Rangers 5-3. Buehler allowed just five hits to remain unbeaten since 2019. The Dodgers ace has now recorded a loss in 22 consecutive starts, the second longest streak in franchise history – behind Kirby Higbe's 23 straight starts.

    Craig Kimbrel closed out the Chicago Cubs' 2-0 win over the St Louis Cardinals. The Cubs completed a three-game sweep for their fifth consecutive victory to move level atop the National League (NL) Central. Kimbrel struck out three in the ninth inning. In each of his last seven appearances, he has posted a save without allowing a hit. According to Stats Perform, it is the third time in Kimbrel's career he has achieved the feat in seven-plus consecutive games. No other pitcher has had more than one such streak since saves became an official stat in 1969.

     

    Yankees reeling after latest loss

    The slumping New York Yankees were shut out 7-0 by the Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees have now lost seven of nine games and 13 of 18.

     

    Randy slam

    Randy Arozarena hit his first career grand slam in the Tampa Bay Rays' 7-1 rout of the Baltimore Orioles. Arozarena homered in the seventh inning.

     

     

    Sunday's results

    Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 New York Yankees
    Washington Nationals 5-0 San Francisco Giants
    Atlanta Braves 6-4 Miami Marlins
    Tampa Bay Rays 7-1 Baltimore Orioles
    Chicago White Sox 4-1 Detroit Tigers
    Cincinnati Reds 6-2 Colorado Rockies
    San Diego Padres 7-3 New York Mets
    Seattle Mariners 6-2 Cleveland Indians
    Toronto Blue Jays 18-4 Boston Red Sox
    Houston Astros 14-3 Minnesota Twins
    Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
    Oakland Athletics 6-3 Kansas City Royals
    Los Angeles Angels 10-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
    Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Texas Rangers
    Chicago Cubs 2-0 St Louis Cardinals

     

    Rays at White Sox

    It will be a blockbuster showdown as the two best teams in the AL clash on Monday. AL East pacesetters the Rays (42-24), who own the best record in the American League, travel to Central leaders the White Sox (41-24). Tyler Glasnow takes to the mound for Tampa Bay, while the White Sox counter with Lance Lynn.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.