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United 4 Wolves 1: Nani And Rooney Bag Braces

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There might be just over two weeks to go before Christmas Day, but Manchester United served their fans with an early festive present with a convincing and entertaining win at home to Mick McCarthy’s struggling Wolves side.

The result may make up United’s shock Champions League exit at the hands of Basel on Wednesday night but the three points could prove to very important come the season’s end when hopefully Sir Alex Ferguson’s will be lifting the present they desire most – the Premier League trophy.

Responding from set-back’s has proven to the club’s mantra in the Scot’s 25-year reign in charge at Old Trafford. Despite Steven Fletcher firing an early shot wide for the visitors, United dominated the game and could have gone ahead after six minutes but Michael Carrick unluckily headed Antonio Valencia’s cross over.

It was an early reprieve for Wolves who looked unlikely to hold out due to United’s wingers in Nani and Valencia looking troublesome down their flanks. Shortly after Wayne Hennessey thwarted Wayne Rooney with an excellent right-handed save, United went ahead and it was no suprise that their two wide-men were involved in the goal.

Valencia produced a deep ball across the area which picked out Nani who after spinning took the ball out of the area past David Edwards and Karl Henry before rifling in a shot past Hennessey and into the bottom corner of the net. It was the Portuguese winger’s first goal since United’s draw at Stoke City and was well worth the wait.

Three minutes before the half-hour mark, United doubled the lead. All the pre-match talk was about Wayne Rooney’s barren run in front of goal with his last strike in the league coming against Chelsea back in September. Well the wait was over as the forward clinically drove home from just outside the box after being picked out by Nani.

Despite Rooney, Nani and Danny Welbeck United only took a two-goal lead into the break. That lead can sometimes be a dangerous one to have and so it proved two minutes after the restart when good play from Matt Jarvis allowed Fletcher to powerfully head home after out-jumping the diminutive Patrice Evra.

With the pressure now back on them, United showed character to settle back into the game and retook their two-goal advantage on 56 minutes when Nani tucked the ball home from virtually the middle of the six-yard area after Valencia had done well to beat Steven Ward after good play from Phil Jones in midfield.

Five minutes later 3-1 became 4-1 when Valencia chipped in a reverse-cross into the area which Rooney on the turn fired home past the helpless Hennessey despite the best efforts of Rodger Johnson to block the ball. It was a good finish from United’s talisman and his 13th of what has been proved to be an up-and-down season so far.

A fifth goal for United didn’t arrive as Welbeck couldn’t quite divert a Jones cross towards goal with Hennessey denying Rooney and substitute Federico Macheda late on. That didn’t matter though as the win cut Manchester City’s lead at the top of the table to two points ahead of their difficult trip to Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

United: De Gea, Evra (Fryers), Ferdinand, Evans, Smalling, Nani (Young), Carrick, Jones, Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck (Macheda).

Star Man

Despite not getting on the score-sheet, Antonio Valencia looked back to his best in a United shirt playing a hand in three of United’s four goals. On his day the winger can trouble the best defenders in the game, as Ashley Cole will adhere to. He needs to keep his form up as his versatility and crossing accuracy can at times to second-to-none.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87

1 thought on “United 4 Wolves 1: Nani And Rooney Bag Braces”

  1. He needs to keep his form up as his versatility and crossing accuracy can at times to second-to-none.

    By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87

    True but first he needs to get selected. Too often he is left on the bench or played in an unfamiliar position.

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