Manchester United thrashed Wolves 5-0 at Molineux today to extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points and also do a number on City’s superior goal difference.
And the interesting thing about United’s performance today is that I thought they played very much within themselves. They were far from their best, but they were still able to hammer Wolves.
Jonny Evans’ first United goal broke the deadlock and then Wolves had defender Ronald Zubar sent off before Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck also struck before half-time. Two goals from Javier Hernandez in the second half completed United’s rout.
SAF had an interesting line-up with Hernandez, Rooney and Welbeck all starting. Hernandez played down the middle with Welbeck out left and Valencia out right and Rooney in his usual number 10 role.
Now it might have been the opposition but the formation really worked. Valencia was simply undefendable today. He seems to have this extra yard of pace that fullbacks are not expecting and he scored one and laid on a couple of other in a man-of-the-match type performance.
It took United only 21 minutes to go ahead and it came from an unlikely source when Jonny Evans scored his first goal for the club. A deep corner from Rooney picked out the unmarked Michael Carrick who had time to turn the ball back across goal to Evans, who made no mistake from close range.
Wolves chances of getting back in the game ended in the 39th minute when Zubar was sent off for a second bookable offence when he clattered into Welbeck close to the touch-line.
Four minutes later Valencia doubled United’s lead. The winger was allowed a free run into the Wolves box after racing on to Rooney’s pass and he drilled his shot past Wayne Hennessey into the far corner of the net.
On the stroke of half-time Welbeck made it 3-0 with a simple finish after Evans and Valencia had combined down the United right.
United were soon back on the offensive after the interval and Hennessey turned Rooney’s dipping effort around the post. It came as no surprise when Hernandez made it 4-0 with a free header from Da Silva’s chip into the box. Then Hernandez completed United’s rout after Valencia and Welbeck had combined.