Gary Neville blasts Manchester United’s midfield as ‘NON-EXISTENT’ after their win over Wolves and insists Erik ten Hag’s side lack ‘balance’
Gary Neville blasts Manchester United’s ‘NON-EXISTENT’ midfield after their narrow win over Wolves, insisting Erik ten Hag’s side lack ‘balance’ and ‘the front three don’t work hard enough’
Gary Neville has slammed Manchester United’s midfield as ‘non-existent’ after the Red Devils kick-started their Premier League season with a 1-0 win over Wolves.
United limped to their first English top-flight victory of the new season as Old Trafford celebrated taking three points in their season-opening clash.
Neville was speaking post-match on Sky Sports when he explained Erik ten Hag’s side had failed to impress against a struggling Wolves team.
He said: ‘Manchester United’s midfield was non-existent it emptied. It was a concern that was maybe sort of, if you watched Man United in pre-season, leaving Casemiro on his own when Mason Mount and Bruno Fernandes go forwards, It looks great.
‘But you’ve got to have a balance. And the front three don’t really work hard enough in a defensive sense, that would have been a real worry because Wolves have got a new manager only four days ago and a lot of misery around how their season may end up but they’ve been brilliant tonight.
Gary Neville has slammed Manchester United’s midfield as ‘non-existent’ after Monday’s opening Premier League win
Neville was left less than impressed after United limped to a 1-0 victory Wolverhampton
United’s new-look midfield including summer signing Mason Mount was set up to attack from the off with home supporters expecting to see an unleashing of attacking prowess against a Wolves side still wounded from losing their manager.
But despite creating a few half-chances in the first opening exchanges, Mount, Casemiro and Fernandes struggled to pick holes in the robust visiting defence.
New captain Fernandes drifted around the attacking third to try and find space, while Mount – making his first competitive appearance for United – was energetic but lacked quality on the ball.
It wasn’t until Raphael Varane scored the game’s only goal in the 83rd minute that United had a shot on goal before two more followed in the closing minutes.
Bruno Fernandes (left) was below his best as United struggled to break down Wolves’ defence
Brazilian winger Antony struggled throughout and was hooked in the second-half
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Neville wasn’t impressed by United’s attack that focused on Marcus Rashford (red shirt)
Similarly it was a disappointing showing from Man United’s attacking trio consisting of Marcus Rashford, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho, while new striker Rasmus Hojlund watched from the stands as he recovers from a back problem.
Rashford often broke into dangerous positions but was unable to get much joy as he tried to dribble through Wolves defenders on multiple occasions, Garnacho was wasteful with his shooting and Brazilian star Antony was hooked at the start of the second-half.
Midfield control was lost as Wolves created the better chance and enjoyed a near-even share of possession and having more off-target shots than the hosts.
New manager Gary O’Neil will be buoyed by his side’s resilience, while Ten Hag has issues to solve ahead of their next clash against Spurs on Saturday.