The reality has been adversity with occasional glimmers of hope. Yet this feels quite different. At a cacophonous Molineux that invoked glory days, they progressed into another FA Cup semi-final, dispatching Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s revived Manchester United with quite efficiency. A late Marcus Rashford goal couldn’t disguise the fact they were well beaten, the striker turning in Luke shaw’s cross in the fourth minute of added time.
The charm which has the surrounded the Norwegian until now had dissipated in the last week, with two defeats.
Yet both managers had their eyes on the famous old trophy. The only significant changes were the goalkeepers. Otherwise Nuno Santo stuck to his best starting eleven. And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s changes were largely tactical or enforced: Diogo Dalot for Young, Ander Herrera for Fred and Anthony Martial for Romelu Lukaku.
Worse was to come for United in terms of defending. As they threw men forward to attack – Andreas Pereira was on for Herrera – Wolves countered on them, hooking the ball out for Jota. Luke Shaw was the last line of resistance and though initially he seemed he have the situation under control, Jota’s desire and aggression simply saw him get the better of the left back, leaving him on the floor. Now he advanced on goal and Lindelof rushed back to attempt to block him. But he got his shot away, Romero, for once, reacted late and slow, and it crept in past him.