Manchester United lost Marcus Rashford to injury as they beat Wolves 1-0 in an FA Cup third-round replay at Old Trafford.

Star striker Rashford started from the bench just four days before a crunch Premier League clash with leaders Liverpool, but he was introduced as a substitute three minutes before Juan Mata scored the only goal on Wednesday.

The England international appeared to be nursing his back and, after initially attempting to play on, had to be replaced with 10 minutes remaining.

The issue provided a disappointing end for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side came through a replay after drawing the first clash 0-0 earlier this month against the opponent that knocked them out of the cup last year.

A lively opening saw John Ruddy crucially bat the ball to safety as Daniel James bore down on goal following Mata's gorgeous lofted pass, before Raul Jimenez twisted into space in the United area but shot straight at Sergio Romero.

United were fortunate to see a Wolves goal ruled out in the 10th minute, as Fred hopelessly hacked a clearance into the legs of Nemanja Matic, allowing Jimenez to challenge Harry Maguire and inadvertently control with his arm before Pedro Neto slid the ball into the net.

Ruddy saved low from Mata and blocked bravely from James either side of Matt Doherty heading against the base of the left-hand post after a short Wolves corner in an even first half.

James drilled across the face of goal early following the restart, but second-half chances were sporadic until the decisive goal.

United responded to their counter-attacking opponents with a break of their own, Anthony Martial timing his pass well to keep Mata onside and he produced a delicate dink over Ruddy.

However, then came the Rashford blow, the forward going down following a challenge with Doherty and never regaining full fitness, hobbling off for Jesse Lingard to provide Solskjaer with concern before the Liverpool clash.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United cannot take the FA Cup for granted while a Premier League title bid is unrealistic.

United welcome Wolves to Old Trafford on Wednesday for their FA Cup third-round replay as the Red Devils sit 27 points adrift of runaway leaders Liverpool in the Premier League.

With United languishing in fifth and struggling for consistency, manager Solskjaer is aware the club cannot afford to disregard the FA Cup.

"Supporters and the club alike aren't happy with not challenging for the top position in the league," said Solskjaer.

"That's where we feel we should be and many of today's supporters have lived that period where we won the league consistently.

"At the moment we don't have that type of team, because in time we've been a bit behind the top ones.

"It might be that we start with winning a cup and then these players will get that taste. But that's not what we want to be.

"We want to be challenging for the league and the Champions League."

Meanwhile, Solskjaer confirmed United have scrapped plans to travel to the Middle East for a training camp due to political tensions in the region.

Qatar was a potential location for United, who have 15 days off between Premier League fixtures against Wolves (February 1) and Chelsea (February 17) next month.

However, the Premier League giants opted against the trip, with Solskjaer telling reporters: "I'm going to give them a few days off, I don't know where the players will scatter around but we will stay in Europe.

"Yep [we changed our mind]. If there is one thing that worries me, it is not on the football pitch. There are things that will worry me more than the football.

"We were looking at the Middle East but that is definitely not going to happen."

Roberto Firmino scored the only goal of the game as relentless Liverpool won at Tottenham to go 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League following Leicester City's defeat to Southampton.

Firmino's first-half strike on Saturday took the runaway leaders to 61 points, a European record among the continent's big-five leagues after 21 games played.

Liverpool look unstoppable in their quest to be crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years, with second-placed Leicester – who have played a game more than the Merseyside club – slumping to a 2-1 loss at home to Southampton.

The Foxes consigned the Saints to a record-equalling 9-0 drubbing in October, but had three goals ruled out for offside at the King Power Stadium and Danny Ings' 10th goal in his last 10 top-flight starts gave the south-coast club sweet revenge.

Manchester United replaced Sheffield United in fifth spot with a 4-0 drubbing of Norwich City at Old Trafford, Marcus Rashford claiming a brace, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored and was sent off in Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

Chelsea are five points better off than the Red Devils in fourth, having avoided a third successive Premier League home defeat with a 3-0 victory over Burnley.

Richarlison scored the only goal in Everton's win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Goodison Park, while Newcastle United and Wolves had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Molineux.

 

FIRMINO GIVES REDS CAPITAL GAINS

Jurgen Klopp's all-conquering side took another stride towards an elusive title by making it 20 wins out of 21 in the Premier League.

A clinical finish from Firmino eight minutes before half-time was enough to seal maximum points in north London.

Son Hueng-min and Giovani Lo Celso squandered great chances to level for Spurs and they proved to be costly as Jose Mourinho's side suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats to sit in eighth spot.

INGS KEEPS SAINTS MARCHING

Southampton pulled off a magnificent victory to leave high-flying Leicester stunned.

Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans had goals disallowed for offside and Southampton had a penalty decision overturned by VAR in an action-packed encounter.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's upwardly mobile side were not to be denied maximum points, though, courtesy of a deflected first-half strike from Stuart Armstrong and a 14th of the season in the league from Ings – who hit the crossbar twice – either side of Dennis Praet's first Leicester goal.

 

RUTHLESS UNITED HAMMER CANARIES

Manchester United responded to their 3-1 EFL Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City with a ruthless demolition of bottom side Norwich.

Rashford took his tally of league goals this season to 14 with one in each half and Anthony Martial scored United's third two minutes after the England striker helped himself to a double from the penalty spot.

Mason Greenwood was given far too much time to add a fourth soon after coming off the bench as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side ran riot, leaving Norwich still seven points adrift of fourth-bottom Aston Villa.

AUBA AND OUT

Aubameyang's 15th top-flight goal of the campaign gave the Gunners a first-half advantage at Selhurst Park, but things turned sour for the striker after the break.

The Gabon international was initially booked by referee Paul Tierney for a challenge on Max Meyer, but a red card was brandished after a VAR review which took over two minutes. 

Jordan Ayew's deflected strike had brought injury-hit Palace level before Aubameyang was ordered off and neither side could force a derby winner.

Danny Ings gave in-form Southampton sweet revenge over Leicester City and Manchester United hammered bottom side Norwich City in the Premier League on Saturday.

Leicester consigned the Saints to a record-equalling 9-0 defeat in October, but the second-placed Foxes – who had three goals ruled out – were beaten 2-1 at the King Power Stadium less than three months later.

Ings' 10th goal in his last 10 top-flight starts sealed all three points for a Southampton side who have now won three and drawn one of their last four Premier League matches.

Manchester United replaced Sheffield United in fifth spot with a 4-0 drubbing of Norwich at Old Trafford, Marcus Rashford scoring twice, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored and was sent off in Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

Chelsea are five points better off than the Red Devils in fourth, having avoided a third successive Premier League home defeat with a 3-0 victory over Burnley.

Richarlison scored the only goal in Everton's win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Goodison Park, while Newcastle United and Wolves had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Molineux.

 

INGS KEEPS SAINTS MARCHING

Southampton pulled off a magnificent victory to leave high-flying Leicester stunned.

Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans had goals disallowed for offside and Southampton had a penalty decision overturned by VAR in an action-packed encounter.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's upwardly mobile side were not to be denied maximum points, though, courtesy of a deflected first-half strike from Stuart Armstrong and a 14th of the season in the league from Ings – who hit the crossbar twice – either side of Dennis Praet's first Leicester goal.

 

RUTHLESS UNITED HAMMER CANARIES

Manchester United responded to their 3-1 EFL Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City with a ruthless demolition of bottom side Norwich.

Rashford took his tally of league goals this season to 14 with one in each half and Anthony Martial scored United's third two minutes after the England striker helped himself to a double from the penalty spot.

Mason Greenwood was given far too much time to add a fourth soon after coming off the bench as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side ran riot, leaving Norwich still seven points adrift of fourth-bottom Aston Villa.

AUBA AND OUT

Aubameyang's 15th top-flight goal of the campaign gave the Gunners a first-half advantage at Selhurst Park, but things turned sour for the striker after the break.

The Gabon international was initially booked by referee Paul Tierney for a challenge on Max Meyer, but a red card was brandished after a VAR review which took over two minutes. 

Jordan Ayew's deflected strike had brought injury-hit Palace level before Aubameyang was ordered off and neither side could force a derby winner.

Patrick Cutrone has left Wolves and returned to Italy, signing for Fiorentina on loan.

Fiorentina stated the loan was for two years and included an obligation to buy, while a release from Wolves detailed it as an 18-month deal with a purchase option.

Wolves shelled out a reported £16million to sign Cutrone from Milan in July and the striker made 24 appearances in all competitions.

However, the Italy international started just nine games in all competitions and failed to complete the 90 minutes once.

Cutrone, who scored three goals for the club, was picked in Nuno Espirito Santo's starting line-up once in the past 15 matches and has opted to return to Serie A.

Fiorentina will hope Cutrone can rediscover his best form in familiar surroundings, with the club sitting 15th in Serie A, four points above the relegation zone.

The 22-year-old made his professional debut for Milan in May 2017 and went on to score 27 goals in 90 appearances.

Cutrone's only senior international cap came against Argentina in March 2018. He has more recently been part of the Under-21 set-up.

Adama Traore was approached by NFL teams to play American football during his time at Barcelona, said Wolves team-mate Romain Saiss.

Wolves winger Traore has played a starring role for the Premier League side this season, with four goals and as many assists.

Traore's pace and incredible physique has made headlines as Liverpool, Manchester City and former club Barca reportedly eye the 23-year-old speedster.

While confirming Traore does not do any weightlifting in training, Wolves midfielder Saiss said the Spaniard – who left Camp Nou in 2015 – was previously targeted by NFL franchises.

"I see him every day, because we are in the gym together, before or after training," Saiss told RMC Sport.

"Maybe he has a hidden gym room in his house, but at training, in any case, he never pumps iron, whether it is bench-press or otherwise. He is huge and very quick.

"I remember saying to him: 'You run like an American footballer'. He responded to me that at the time that he played in Barcelona, NFL teams tried to get him to playing American football instead, that's how explosive he was.

"There are people who say that it is not possible, that he cannot be playing football."

Wolves star Adama Traore is reportedly attracting interest from Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester City.

Traore, formerly of Barcelona, has continued to impress this season, helping Wolves sit seventh in the Premier League.

Now, the former Spain youth international is reportedly being targeted by three of Europe's biggest clubs.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL, BARCELONA & MAN CITY EYE TRAORE

Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester City are interested in signing Traore, according to 90min.

Traore has scored four goals and provided four assists in the Premier League this season.

The report says Wolves want at least £70million for Traore.

 

ROUND-UP

- Dani Olmo is expected to leave Dinamo Zagreb and is being eyed by several European giants. Goal reports Barcelona lead Chelsea and Manchester United in the race for the 21-year-old Spain international.

- Arturo Vidal is linked with a move to Inter, but he may be going nowhere. The cover of Sport reads 'You stay', with the report saying Barcelona have told the midfielder he will remain with the LaLiga giants due to his importance to the club.

- Chelsea have identified their top January transfer target. The Daily Express reports the Premier League side want Inter forward Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa this month to ease the pressure on Tammy Abraham.

- Inter are considering reinforcements on the left-hand side. CalcioMercato says Chelsea's Marcos Alonso and Parma's Matteo Darmian are both being considered by the Serie A high-flyers.

- It seems Edinson Cavani's time at Paris Saint-Germain is just about over. Gianluca Di Marzio reports Atletico Madrid and Cavani have an agreement in place and the LaLiga club want the forward to arrive in January.

- Wojciech Szczesny is set to extend his stay at Juventus. The goalkeeper will re-sign with the Serie A giants until 2024, according to CalcioMercato.

Another day, another Paul Pogba story.

The Manchester United star continues to be linked with a move away from Old Trafford.

Inter have reportedly emerged as a possible destination for Pogba, though United want a player in return…

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT MARTINEZ IN POGBA DEAL

Manchester United want to swap midfielder Paul Pogba for Inter star Lautaro Martinez, according to The Mirror.

Pogba has been linked with a return to Serie A champions Juventus and LaLiga giants Real Madrid as his future dominates headlines.

But a reunion with former Juve boss Antonio Conte at Inter could be in the pipeline. However, the Italian club might have to part with Barcelona target Martinez to prise Pogba to Milan.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Old Trafford and The Mirror also claims United have set their sights on Wolves forward Raul Jimenez after missing out on Erling Haaland, who opted to swap Salzburg for Borussia Dortmund.

- It comes as the Mirror says United are set to offer cash plus Jesse Lingard for Leicester City star James Maddison. The Sun, meanwhile, claims United want Toni Kroos in return if Pogba heads to Madrid.

- According to Sky Sport Italia, Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo is on his way to join Milan, with the LaLiga champions keen to agree a loan deal with a counter-option should they wish to recall him. Meanwhile, the Gazzetta dello Sport says Atalanta want to re-sign Milan centre-back Mattia Caldara.

- The Daily Express reports West Ham have emerged as shock contenders to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. The star defender has been linked to United and Manchester City.

- Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa has said goodbye to Flamengo supporters via social media, prompting speculation in The Sun that the Inter-owned striker is on his way to either Chelsea or West Ham.

Chris Smalling is keen to secure a permanent deal at Roma and is ready to snub United should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempt to persuade him to return to Old Trafford, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

- The Mirror says Carlo Ancelotti's Everton are eyeing a loan move for Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to rule out a move for Wolves star Raul Jimenez following Saturday's FA Cup encounter.

After Erling Haaland opted to join Borussia Dortmund, United have been linked with Wolves forward Jimenez as they look to bolster their attacking options.

Mexico international Jimenez has scored eight Premier League goals this season and 17 across all competitions for Wolves.

Asked about Jimenez following the goalless draw away to Wolves, Solskjaer told reporters: "Another good player that we're being linked with.

"It's loads of players who are being linked with us. I thought he came on and did really well today. But I can't comment on the speculation."

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo was also quizzed on the rumours and he said: "It's the first-time I heard it. Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] didn’t mention anything about that.

"But the transfer window is open. When it is open, anything can happen. [However] We are delighted to have Raul."

The future of United star Paul Pogba is also dominating headlines, with the January transfer window open.

Sidelined with an ongoing ankle problem, Pogba has been linked to former club Juventus, Inter and LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

However, Solskjaer told the BBC: "You won't see Paul [Pogba] go in January."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was satisfied with Manchester United's display in the FA Cup clash against Wolves, despite his side not mustering a shot on target in the 0-0 draw at Molineux.

A replay will be required to decide who will go through to the fourth round after neither team crafted a winner in Saturday's encounter, which only came alive in the final 20 minutes.

United substitute Marcus Rashford hit the crossbar moments after coming on before Matt Doherty had a goal correctly disallowed for handball, while Raul Jimenez rattled the woodwork for the hosts.

Despite his side ultimately hanging on to take the tie back to Old Trafford without managing a shot on target in a domestic match for the first time since January 2015, Solskjaer was pleased with the level of their performance.

"I'd rather have a replay than be out of the cup. We knew coming here was difficult but we're still in the hat and at home there's a little bit more chance of going through," Solskjaer told BT Sport.

"It always is [tough] when you come to Molineux. I thought we played well in the first half, dominated possession but then they took over in the second half, which made it an even tougher game.

"We got off the hook when Doherty mistimed his header and it hit his arm, but I thought a draw was a fair result.

"We didn't create too many chances but I thought we controlled it. It was just that last bit we missed, we set out to control possession. I thought we did okay.

"Some players have played and are tired, some haven't played and probably felt the effects of that towards the end."

There were concerns over Harry Maguire's fitness, with the defender struggling with an injury. 

The England international stayed on to complete the 90 minutes, though Solskjaer admitted he could be doubtful for the EFL Cup clash with Manchester City in midweek.

"I don't know," Solskjaer replied when asked if Maguire would be fit for the Manchester derby. "We were close to taking him off at half-time, but he battled through. Let's see how he recovers, but we hope so."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sprung to his own defence on Friday when Robin van Persie criticised the Manchester United manager's touchline demeanour.

The Dutchman, who took Solskjaer's number 20 shirt at Old Trafford, suggested the United boss smiled too often and sometimes needed to "just be angry".

Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie at Wolves – who ended United's participation in last season's competition – represented the latest opportunity for Solskjaer to show his emotional range. So, how did the Norwegian fare at Molineux?

Here is a breakdown of how Solskjaer reacted as the 'action' unfolded...

 

13' – GRIMACING: Romero to the rescue

The first clear-cut chance of the game fell to Matt Doherty, whose effort on the volley forced a superb reaction save from Sergio Romero. It really ought to have been 1-0 to Wolves, leaving Solskjaer shuffling a little uncomfortably in his seat.

30' – QUIZZICAL: VAR says no penalty

Solskjaer was somewhat bemused when United saw appeals for a penalty waved away on the half-hour mark. Leander Dendoncker got himself into all sorts of trouble and appeared to bring down Brandon Williams, but referee Paul Tierney was unmoved, and VAR backed him up.

45' – FROWNING: Goalless at the break 

Having failed to hit a shot on target in an underwhelming first half, Solskjaer looked less than impressed when the half-time whistle blew. This, conversely, might have pleased Van Persie.

49' – WORRIED: Romero laid low

Romero went down clutching his left leg early in the second half and Solskjaer wore a look of concern which eventually gave way to calm as the Argentine was able to continue, denying Neto soon after being treated.

57' – RUEFUL: Mata goes close

Juan Mata's free-kick completely wrong-footed John Ruddy but just curled past the Wolves goalkeeper's right-hand upright, with Solskjaer ​– hands plunged into his pockets – biting his bottom lip as he turned away in disappointment. 

67' – CONTEMPLATIVE: Changes on the way

As United's ninth shot of the match flew off target to leave Ruddy still untroubled, Solskjaer readied some reinforcements from the bench in the shape of Marcus Rashford and Fred, with still no sign of the 46-year-old's trademark grin.

69' – DISAPPOINTED: Rashford hits the bar

In his playing days, Solskjaer was the epitome of an impact sub and Rashford very nearly paid a fitting tribute to his boss when he sized up an excellent opening within moments of coming on. However, the England forward delayed his strike too long and it was deflected onto the top of the crossbar. 

76' – RELIEF: D'oh-erty!

Doherty nodded in from six yards, but the hosts' celebrations were cut short as the Irishman had headed the ball into his arm, affording Solskjaer some welcome relief.

90' – UNDERWHELMED: Second best but in the hat

Having once again failed to mastermind a win against Wolves – this time not even finding the target – the only smile from Solskjaer at full-time was to greet opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo, and you cannot criticise a man for observing social niceties.  

Manchester United's FA Cup campaign started in underwhelming fashion as they drew 0-0 with Wolves in a dire third-round meeting at Molineux.

In a repeat of last season's quarter-final – which finished 2-1 to Wolves – the encounter did not come alive until Marcus Rashford hit the crossbar moments after coming on in the second half.

Sergio Romero has been the busiest of the goalkeepers prior to Rashford's chance, though United believed they should have had a penalty when Leander Dendoncker bundled into Brandon Williams.

Having been let off the hook when Rashford's effort hit the woodwork, Wolves upped the pressure late on but, though Matt Doherty had a goal rightly disallowed and Raul Jimenez hit the woodwork, the tie will have to be settled in a replay at Old Trafford.

United were fortunate to escape unscathed 13 minutes in when Doherty was found unmarked from a corner, Romero's instinctive save keeping out the defender's volley.

Wolves, however, were themselves lucky just after the half-hour mark, with VAR official Michael Oliver deeming a clumsy tackle from Dendoncker on Williams not worthy of a penalty.

United looked set to be dealt a blow when Romero went down with an apparent hamstring injury shortly after the restart, though the goalkeeper battled on and was in place to block Pedro Neto's strike.

After Juan Mata went close with a free-kick, Rashford almost made an instant impact when introduced with 20 minutes remaining, only for Conor Coady to deflect his strike onto the bar.

Doherty had the ball in the net in the 76th minute, only for the goal to be disallowed due to the full-back heading the ball onto his arm, with Jimenez then rattling the woodwork from a tight angle to sum up a frustrating day for both sides in which United failed to muster a single shot on target.

 

What does it mean? More fixture congestion for United

United face Manchester City in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, before hosting Norwich City on Saturday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side then face Liverpool at Anfield on January 19, and that fixture will now follow what will have been an unwanted replay as the games continue to come thick and fast.

Neto making his case for Wolves

Former Braga youngster Neto has made just three Premier League starts this season but did open his top-flight account against Watford on New Year's Day and was a constant threat to United's defence throughout Saturday's encounter.

VAR frustration comes to the fore in the cup

The use of VAR in the Premier League has been a huge talking point this season, and the video review system was again at the centre of a contentious moment when Oliver deemed Dendoncker's rash tackle unworthy of a foul, despite the Belgium international clearly making contact with Williams.

What's next?

Local rivals City are up next for United, who face Pep Guardiola's side at Old Trafford in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final. Wolves, meanwhile, are in Premier League action against Newcastle United on Saturday.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at criticism from Robin van Persie, insisting the Dutchman "doesn't have a right" to question his methods.

Working for BT Sport for United's 2-0 loss to Arsenal on New Year's Day, Van Persie questioned Solskjaer's demeanour in the aftermath of such a disappointing result at Emirates Stadium.

"I would like to see him a bit more mean at times, just be angry," the former United forward - who was signed from Arsenal - said. "I see him smiling now after a game like that. This is not the moment to smile."

Yet Solskjaer made clear he was not impressed by the comments on the eve of his team's FA Cup tie away at Wolves.

"I don't know Robin and Robin doesn't know me," a defiant Solskjaer told the media. "He probably doesn't have a right to criticise my management style and I won't change. That's definite.

"Yeah Robin, he took my No.20 [shirt at United] and that's probably all he's going to take from me as well."

United sit in fifth place in the Premier League table, but missed the chance to close the gap on Chelsea as they continue to struggle for consistency.

Their cause will not be aided at the start of 2020 by the absence of midfielder Paul Pogba, who is expected to be out for three to four weeks with a new ankle injury. Solskjaer revealed the issue was bone fragments, explaining: "It's not a big, massive injury."

The Norwegian also responded to comments made by the player's agent, Mino Raiola, over the Frenchman's long-term future at Old Trafford.

Asked if agents should be offering their opinions on the state of clubs, Solskjaer replied: "No."

He added: "I don't think I should be talking to agents or about agents that talk about us, but Paul Pogba is our player and agents are hired by players, not the opposite way around. What me and Paul Pogba are talking about, I don't have to talk to you about. That will be between us."

With Pogba joining Scott McTominay on the sidelines, Nemanja Matic is not only set to stay during the January transfer window but could yet extend his time at the club beyond the 2019-20 season.

"Nemanja will stay. He's been working hard to get back in and now he's here and he’s playing well," said Solskjaer, who added "there's always a chance" of the Serbia international getting a new contract.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called for a "reaction" from Manchester United as the 12-time FA Cup winners bid to clear a daunting first hurdle in this season's competition.

The 2-0 loss at Arsenal on New Year's Day was a rough start to the decade for United and facing Wolves in the cup means life gets no easier.

Wolves sank United in the quarter-finals at Molineux last season and Solskjaer is conscious he has yet to bring back a victory from three visits to Wolverhampton since taking charge at United in December 2018.

"It's the fourth time in my time there already at Molineux and we haven't won yet, but it is a tough place," said the Norwegian.

"Liverpool lost there last season, [Manchester] City just lost there now, so we've got to earn the right to win there.

"We've got to play well, we've got to perform and we've got to go there positive, because we want a reaction after a defeat against Arsenal, which everyone says was such a bad, bad performance."

Solskjaer has his own thoughts about the performance at Arsenal, which are not as negative as those expressed elsewhere, but an improvement will be required if United are to march through to the fourth round on Saturday.

Sergio Romero will take over the goalkeeping duties from David de Gea, whose form has been shaky of late. The Spain international has not been dropped, though, with Solskjaer having made a habit of selecting Romero for cup matches.

And Mason Greenwood may be in line for another start, with the teenage striker making a huge impression in his breakout season.

"He's grown a lot. He's physically and mentally more robust, which, of course, you expect from an 18-year-old," Solskjaer said, quoted on United's website.

"He has had more or less 12 months with us now and he's grown fantastically.

"His confidence and performances in the top games, even in the Premier League, he's done well. He's played a lot of the cup games and he's done well.

"So, we'll just keep continuing to give him more and more until he is a regular, because that will happen."

Solskjaer will face a sharp tactical mind in Nuno Espirito Santo, the Wolves boss who led his team out of the Championship and has established the club as a top-flight force.

Losing out to Watford in the FA Cup semi-finals last season was a bitter blow for Wolves, who led 2-0 at Wembley but slid to a 3-2 defeat.

Yet Solskjaer sees only quality and a coherent strategy when he looks at this weekend's opponents.

He said: "They have quality: good players, a good manager, who has had time and he's got his way of playing, his philosophy.

"The players are getting to know each other. You can see that they have swapped between 3-5-2, 3-4-3 and they seem to know every little detail there is in those two systems.

"They know each other, relationships, like swapping positions, rotations, which is a great place to be in when you get that consistency that he has had. So, we know we're up for a hard night at Molineux."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects to be without Paul Pogba for three to four weeks due to the France star's latest ankle injury.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's FA Cup third-round trip to Wolves, Solskjaer told reporters the Pogba's current setback is a different injury to the ankle complaint that has restricted him to six competitive starts this season.

Solskjaer sounded a notably weary tone as he confirmed the news and lamented Pogba again dominating one of his pre-match briefings.

"Here we go again," he said. "FA Cup third round and you're talking about Paul again.

"Paul came back after a long spell out, [came on as a substitute in] two games, had a reaction, couldn't go to Burnley, felt his ankle was sore, we did a scan.

"And it's not the same injury, it's a different injury. It's not a major one and probably, as I said, three or four weeks."

This scan has caused consternation after Solskjaer said in the aftermath of Wednesday's 2-0 loss at Arsenal that Pogba had been "advised to have an operation by his people" - phrasing seized upon in some quarters as the latest example of a possible divide between United and Pogba's inner circle

"Of course, when you get that scan, we speak to him, you consult your own medical people as well - like I did, when I did my operation," Solskjaer said in his latest attempt to clarify on Friday.

"You want the best second opinion and the advice was to have [the operation] done."

If this season's Pogba saga was simply injury related, that would be straightforward, but speculation over a move to Real Madrid continues to swirl around the player.

Agent Mino Raiola refused to rule out a move for his client over the coming year but has said Pogba will not leave United in January.

Raiola also continued his public attacks on former United boss Alex Ferguson, who was in charge when Pogba initially left the club for Juventus in 2012, during an interview with Votebal International, while United great Ryan Giggs told Optus Sports he felt sorry for Solskjaer persistently having to field questions over the club's record signing.

"I shouldn't be talking to or about agents who talk about us," Solskjaer said. "But Paul is our player and agents are hired by players and not the opposite way around.

"They are not agents' players, the are our players."

Asked whether agents should speak about clubs, Solskjaer simply replied: "No."

He added: "Paul is very committed to coming back, playing well for us. It's hard when you're injured, to go and talk about all sorts. I think his talking needs to be when he comes back on the pitch.

"He's a top player, a very, very good player who we've missed this season. But I think the boys have done really well without him."

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