Gary Neville blasts Man United’s ‘NON-EXISTING’ midfielder after their unconvincing 1-0 win over Wolves, insisting Erik ten Hag’s side lack ‘balance’ and that ‘the top three don’t work hard enough”
Gary Neville has branded the Manchester United midfielder ‘non-existent’ after the Red Devils kicked off their Premier League season with a 1-0 win over Wolves.
United limped to their first top-flight English win of the new season as Old Trafford celebrated grabbing three points in their season-opening clash.
Neville was speaking post-match on Sky Sports when he explained that Erik ten Hag’s side failed to impress against a struggling Wolves side.
He said: “The Manchester United midfield was non-existent, he emptied himself. It was a concern that was maybe sort of, if you looked at Man United in pre-season, leaving Casemiro alone when Mason Mount and Bruno Fernandes go ahead, it looks great.
“But you have to have a balance. And the front three aren’t really working hard enough in a defensive sense, that would have been a real concern as Wolves have a new manager just four days ago and a lot of misery about how their season might end but they have been brilliant tonight.
Gary Neville slammed the Manchester United midfielder as ‘non-existent’ after their 1-0 win
Neville was less than impressed after United limped to a narrow win over Wolves
United’s new midfield, including summer signing Mason Mount, was set up to attack from the start, with home fans expecting to see an unleashing of attacking prowess against a Wolves side still injured by the loss of their manager.
But despite creating a few half chances in early opening rallies, Mount, Casemiro and Fernandes struggled to put holes in the visitors’ strong defense.
New captain Fernandes drifted around the attacking third to try to 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 76th minute that United got a shot on goal before two more followed in the closing minutes.
Victory was guaranteed as the hosts escaped conceding a stoppage-time penalty when Andre Onana slammed into Wolves substitute Sasa Kalajdzic.
A VAR review ultimately ruled no further action would be taken until Wolves boss Gary O’Neil revealed he had received an apology for the decision after the game.
United held on to take three unconvincing three-pointers in front of a crowd of 75,000 and cement their place among the Premier League opening weekend leaders
Bruno Fernandes (left) was below his best as United struggled to break down the Wolves defense
Brazilian winger Antony struggled throughout and was hooked in the second half
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Neville was unimpressed with United’s attack which focused on Marcus Rashford (left)
It was an equally disappointing performance from Man United’s attacking trio of Marcus Rashford, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho, with new striker Rasmus Hojlund watching from the stands as he recovers from a back problem.
Rashford often took dangerous positions but couldn’t feel much joy trying to dribble past Wolves defenders on several occasions, Garnacho wasted his shot and Brazil star Antony was hung midway through the second half.
Control of midfield was lost as Wolves created the best chances and enjoyed an almost equal share of possession while also 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 some issues to work out ahead of their next clash against Spurs on Saturday.