- A much-changed United side held their own against Wolves at their own stadium and won by the odd goal in three. Ole ringed in the changes from the team that had drawn against Fulham in mid-week, with one eye on the Europa League final on Wednesday. Elanga and Amad started together with Daniel James and Juan Mata upfront and the former will remember this match for the rest of his life, as he scored the opener with a bullet header from an inch-perfect cross from James. Despite conceding an equaliser, United went on to win the match with a well-taken penalty kick from Mata. With this result, United became only the fourth team in the history of the top division in England – 133 years – that managed to go a whole season unbeaten away from home. What an achievement. There was also time in the last minutes for Ole to give debuts to two other graduates from the Academy. Hannibal Mejbri and Will Fish both made their debuts in a United shirt for the full team.
- The focus of the last two weeks for United had already shifted to Gdansk and the Europa League final. It is possibly the biggest game of the season for this United team and to finish second in the league and winning a trophy will go down as a successful season for Ole’s team and certainly a step forward. The first eleven for Wednesday are almost known but there are still a couple of decisions that Ole needs to take. The first is the keeper, which however with Henderson playing today against Leeds, it is almost certain that De Gea will start in goal in Gdansk. The injury to Maguire – if he does not make it – has opened another battle to step in for the skipper and today, it was almost a dress rehearsal between Bailly and Tuanzebe. Bailly is favourite to get the nod but I have a gut feeling that young Tuanzebe will be selected to partner Lindelof. The third decision to make is who take the two places up front between Pogba, Rashford and Greenwood, alongside Fernandes and Cavani. Considering Ole’s preference to start with two pivots to protect the United defence in big games – more than ever in this match with Maguire out – Pogba will probably play on the left of the three behind Cavani. On the right, Greenwood is the obvious choice because he has played there with some success this season and he’s the man in form for United, particularly in terms of goals. Leaving Rashford out for the final though must be painful for Ole and I would not be surprised if Marcus gets the nod ahead of Mason, given the magnitude of the match. I think we will win. It will not be easy, as Spanish teams never are but I am optimistic that we will put on a great performance. Bring it on!!
- Special mention today goes to Juan Mata, not for this match in particular, which could be his last for us but for what he did at United during these seven and a half years wearing the red jersey. I was never the biggest fan of Juan as I am used to wingers who get me on the edge of the seat, fast and aggressive. In these last years, especially, sometimes I felt that he was not up to speed with the rest of the team. There is no denying though that Juan’s technique with the ball and his intelligent runs without it has been a trademark of his appearances and he has been a fantastic servant for the Club. Adding to those qualities the fact that he is a great ambassador of United both on and off the pitch, his influence in the dressing room and the fact that he is a proper gentleman, I would keep him at the club as a player-coach next season. I am not sure that Juan is ready yet for such a position and maybe he wants to continue to play for a couple of seasons more with some regularity. If that’s the case, muchas gracias Juan and good luck for the future.
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Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.