Manchester United shook off their recent woes to secure a much-needed win at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon, with the Red Devils bouncing back from two successive Premier League defeats to get their top-four bid back on track.
Following a grim week that saw the Old Trafford outfit slip up away to Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham United – as well as lose Marcus Rashford to injury – Erik ten Hag‘s men put in a largely confident display against the Old Gold, with Alejandro Garnacho sealing the win at the death following an earlier, close-range effort from Anthony Martial.
While not on the scoresheet himself, it was United’s midfield maestro Bruno Fernandes who was once again integral to all that was good about the hosts after being restored to his usual playmaking berth, with the Portugal international registering a standout tally of six key passes and creating two big chances.
It was the 28-year-old’s delightful threaded pass that teed up Antony in the build-up to Martial’s well-crafted opener, while the former Sporting CP man again split the visiting defence with another luscious through ball late on to find substitute, Garnacho.
Although the influential ace was clearly the headline act – with his 8.5 match rating the highest of any player for either side, as per Sofascore – Fernandes wasn’t alone in having shown his quality, with teammate Luke Shaw also proving why he is “absolute dynamite“, as hailed by journalist Liam Canning.
How did Shaw perform against Wolves?
Following his recent stint in the side at centre-back in place of the injured Lisandro Martinez, the England international was restored to his usual left-back berth this time around, showing yet again just what an invaluable asset he is to Ten Hag.
The 27-year-old – who was recently rewarded with a new contract by the club – proved a real asset against Julen Lopetegui’s side both in and out of possession, notably registering two key passes as a marker of his creative prowess, having teed up Antony midway through the first half with an inviting cross, only to see the Brazilian inexplicably fire his header over the crossbar.
On what was ‘another consistent performance from a consistent starter’ – as hailed by Manchester Evening News journalist Samuel Luckhurst – the long-serving asset also used the ball impressively after recording a pass accuracy rate of 95%, having ‘played with purpose’, according to Luckhurst.
The £150k-per-week ace was dribbled past twice during that stellar 90-minute outing, although the one-time Southampton man was rarely bettered by Wolves’ attacking unit, having won eight of his 11 total duels.
Unsurprisingly, Shaw’s match rating of 7.9 was only second to that of Fernandes for the home side – and only behind the impressive Daniel Bentley (8.0) for the visitors – with the 29-cap machine proving a reliable, leading presence for the Champions League hopefuls.