Wolves 2 Manchester United 1 – player ratings – expressandstar.com


John Ruddy

He will have been expecting a far busier night than this. United mustered just two shots on target all night, one of which was Rashford’s late consolation. Ruddy held a potential awkward Rashford 30-yarder early on and commanded his penalty area with authority. Did all he needed to do. 7/10

Romain Saiss

Got the nod ahead of Ryan Bennett, a reward for his excellent performances against Cardiff and Chelsea, and he was at it again here. Some important clearances when United were trying to pile the pressure on. A very disciplined display. 8/10

Conor Coady

Intercepting a pass in midfield may seem a fairly insignificant moment but when, around half an hour in, Coady bounded forward into midfield to win the ball and cutely play to Jonny, it roused the home crowd who had previously been watching a team playing within itself. Thereafter Wolves were the better team. Coady held his own against Rashford but, more importantly than that, organised a regimented back-line, especially in the first half when he brought the line up with Wolves sitting too deep. Wolves barely gave United a sniff all night and Coady was absolutely instrumental in that. Just so invaluable to this team. 9/10

Willy Boly

Another commanding performance from the big Frenchman who has been so consistent in recent weeks. Dominant and composed. 8/10

Matt Doherty

Defended with patience and discipline but also got forward to really good effect at times, stretching United and troubling Luke Shaw. Set up Jota for a good first half chance. Never stopped running all night long and was a constant outlet for Neves and Moutinho to find. 8/10

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Ruben Neves

A majestic display. He sees a football like Neo sees the Matrix – unbelievable vision and then the top-level technique to execute those passes. Scintillating through ball for that huge Jota chance in the first half and then he found the same player in the build-up to the second goal. Really grew in stature as the game went on and found space better than Yuri Gagarin. Did his defensive duties too with four tackles. 9/10

Joao Moutinho

Just take a moment to remind yourself that Joao Moutinho plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers. Not only does this guy have better technical ability than the Cirque du Soleil, he’s also a tenacious, tough-tackling midfielder and an inspirational leader. Wolves struggled to get a foothold in the early stages and it was Moutinho who gradually coaxed them upfield, meaning the team grew in confidence and ended the half on top. The rest was history. We know he can pass and tackle but we didn’t know he could slide inside two players like an eel down a drainpipe to tee up Jimenez’s opener. He also came close to netting a 30-yarder and put a corner on Jimenez’s head with Romero pulling off an outstanding save. He’s without doubt one of the finest players to ever pull on the famous gold shirt and this, despite some stiff competition, was surely his finest hour this season. Five tackles overall and seven – yes, seven – key passes. Bravo Joao, bravo. 10/10

Leander Dendoncker

We barely saw him in the United third of the field – Dendoncker’s evening was about defending and trying to nullify the considerable threat of Pogba, which is exactly what he did. Extremely solid, did absolutely nothing outlandish (registering a 90 per cent pass accuracy) and played a key role for the team. His interception on Martial when the United man was preparing to tap home in the first half was absolutely crucial. 8/10

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Jonny Castro Otto

You know when you’re lying on a beach, or in your garden, and a fly or a wasp buzzes around your head, you swat it away but it keeps landing on you until you just have to stand up and swoosh it away. That’s Jonny Castro Otto in insect form. Incessant and relentless pressing, harrying and hassling of the opposition. One such example led to Jota’s great first-half chance when Jonny won the ball in United’s half. He did it all night long and also contributed in an attacking sense, linking with Jota and sending a couple of crosses over. Also brilliantly found Jimenez for a chance after the break. Just a fantastic player to have in your team. United couldn’t get past him. 9/10

Raul Jimenez

Remember when Jimenez was the perfect striker apart from his finishing? That’s nine goals in his past 14 appearances – and three in the last three. He’s the perfect striker. His persistence and awareness created that first goal – he took it quickly on the turn to surprise Romero, who had earlier denied him with a Superman-esque save on to the bar. Worked tirelessly and won six headers. He’s making a mockery of that £30m fee. Sign. Him. Up. 9/10

Diogo Jota

His goal was Diogo Jota in a nutshell – tenacity, desire, strength and skill. After doing all the hard work – and, as usual, point-blank refusing to just try and win a free-kick – he capped it off with an outstanding early finish to beat the excellent Romero. How on earth someone 5ft 10in tall can be that strong is, frankly, unclear. He’s a bully. And he’s in the form of his Wolves career. Wrap him in cotton wool for the semi-final. 9/10

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Substitutes

Adama Traore (for Jota, 87)

One good run and shot as he helped Wolves see the clock down. N/A

Helder Costa (for Jimenez, 90)

Allowed Jimenez to have a standing ovation. N/A

Subs not used: Norris, Bennett, Vinagre, Gibbs-White, Cavaleiro.



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