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Page last updated at 19:24 GMT, Saturday, 5 February 2011

Wolverhampton   2 - 1   Man Utd

George Elokobi
Former Colchester defender Elokobi got the Wolves equaliser after 10 minutes

By Chris Whyatt

Below-par Manchester United fell to a first league defeat of the season as bottom-of-the-table Wolves proved they are not certainties for relegation.

United led after three minutes as Nani drilled home inside the near post after turning George Elokobi inside-out.

But Elokobi headed in soon after with United's defence sleeping, Matt Jarvis executing a short-corner routine.

Kevin Doyle then glanced in just before the break, after which the visitors failed to carve out any clear chances.

Not only will Wolves' hopes of avoiding relegation soar with a fine win that puts them only two points behind 17th-placed Wigan with a game in hand, but United's Premier League title rivals will be seriously buoyed now that their daunting 29-match unbeaten run is over.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson looked puzzled with his United team as they failed to usurp the record of his 1999 Treble winners with a display that deteriorated rapidly after Nani's early opener.

FOOTBALL TACTICS BLOG

Though Wolves remain bottom by virtue of an inferior goal difference to Birmingham and West Ham, they have now beaten five of the top seven - United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Sunderland - this season.

United appeared to pay the price for the absence of in-form England captain Rio Ferdinand, whose calf injury suffered in the warm-up meant Jonny Evans was pressed into action.

Instant drama ensued as Wolves appealed for a penalty as Brazilian right-back Rafael swept away any danger from Jarvis with his upper body after 40 seconds.

But United took the lead soon after as Nani showcased the superior side to his inconsistent game.

Breaking into the right side of Wolves' penalty area, he played with Elokobi over and over while ignoring both Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney as they lurked in the centre with arms aloft.

In a flash of movement he then sent Elokobi the wrong way before cutting inside to power a ruthless left-footed shot past Wayne Hennessey at the Welshman's near post.

McCarthy delighted to beat Man Utd

The visitors could have added an instant second, but Rooney screwed an ugly attempt high into Hennessey's arms after Berbatov cleverly found the unmarked England striker.

Yet United may have paid the price for overconfidence as they completely lost their concentration after 10 minutes to let Wolves back in.

As Jarvis took a quick corner Rafael jogged into his penalty area with his back to the ball and United utterly disorganised.

And when it was quickly returned to Jarvis, with United failing to mark properly, his clean cross was met with a full-blooded header by former Colchester defender Elokobi, who had to stretch his neck back to add power.

Rooney then just failed to find Berbatov as the strong wind took his searching long pass out of his strike partner's stride.

Berbatov, who has scored 13 goals in his past nine Premier League appearances, then brilliantly found space in the box with a series of flicks but his weak shot caused Hennessey no trouble.

But, after Nani went close with a 28th-minute free kick, Wolves dug deep into their resources to turn the tide as they began to control the rest of the half.

Impressive debutant Jamie O'Hara, on loan from Tottenham, nearly squeezed the ball home at the near post but alert 40-year-old goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar improvised to kick the ball away for a corner.

Nenad Milijas almost put Wolves ahead when his 37th-minute free-kick from 20 yards nearly crept inside stranded Van der Sar's far post, but the wicked deflection off Nemanja Vidic's head took it just wide.

But his free-kick three minutes later, from wide on the right, proved a crucial assist.

Wolves team-mates Kevin Doyle and Elokobi both battled to get a headed touch as the ball flew into the net, although Doyle insisted his was the last as they celebrated in front of the joyous home fans at Molineux.

United did have a chance just before the break but, with Ferguson fuming on the sidelines, Nani headed Rafael's right-wing cross over the bar.

Midfield veteran Paul Scholes replaced the ineffective Michael Carrick for the second half.

But, for once, his enduring class failed to instigate a real sense of urgency for United, although he did come close to connecting with an early low cross.

Slack second half cost Man Utd - Phelan

Wolves, however, looked just as likely to extend their lead as United wasted the ball when well-placed in advanced areas.

Jarvis was a constant threat, and jinked well inside Rafael in the penalty area to work a smart pull-back for O'Hara.

But the midfielder needed more power behind his side-footer as Vidic cleared the danger.

Rafael then needed medical attention as he suffered an alarming-looking dislocated finger, although he was able to continue after it was reset.

Chris Smalling came on for injured Evans, before Mexican forward Javier Hernandez replaced Berbatov.

But Hernandez - United's late saviour on many occasions this season - could not work his magic as a substitute once more.

After O'Hara was replaced by Kevin Foley, seemingly to protect him from receiving a second yellow card, Nani then showed his more frustrating side as he shot wildly into the crowd with a host of team-mates well placed.

And United's desperation became clear when Scholes was booked for handling - rather than heading - a late attempt to steer a cross past Hennessey, although the keeper made sure of the save anyway as Wolves sealed the three points despite five minutes of added time.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Wolves 2-1 Man Utd FT
(HT 2-1)
  • Elokobi 10
  • Doyle 40
  • Nani 3

Wolverhampton

Substitutes

Man Utd

Substitutes

Ref: OliverAtt: 28,811
WOLVES
MAN UTD

Possession

  • Wolves 51%
  • Man Utd 49%

Attempts on target

  • Wolves 5
  • Man Utd 7

Attempts off target

  • Wolves 1
  • Man Utd 7

Corners

  • Wolves 4
  • Man Utd 6

Fouls

  • Wolves 6
  • Man Utd 11
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+5:38 The referee blows for the end of the match.
  • 90:00+4:06 Kevin Doyle fouled by Nemanja Vidic, the ref awards a free kick. Karl Henry takes the direct free kick.
  • 89:14 Ryan Giggs concedes a free kick for a foul on Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. Free kick taken by Ronald Zubar.
  • Correction - 87:43 Unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle by Paul Scholes results in a free kick. Karl Henry takes the direct free kick.
  • Correction - 87:43 Substitution Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is brought on as a substitute for Nenad Milijas.
  • 87:43 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle by Paul Scholes. Direct free kick taken by Karl Henry.
  • 87:43 Substitution Nenad Milijas leaves the field to be replaced by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.
  • 86:42 Effort from 20 yards by Javier Hernandez. Richard Stearman gets a block in.
  • 84:50 Paul Scholes handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Wayne Hennessey.
  • 84:50 Booking Paul Scholes goes into the book.
  • 83:14 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line.
  • 82:58 Effort on goal by Paul Scholes from 12 yards. Richard Stearman gets a block in.
  • 81:32 The referee blows for offside. Rafael Da Silva restarts play with the free kick.
  • 79:11 Rafael Da Silva handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Wayne Hennessey takes the free kick.
  • 77:53 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line, clearance made by Matthew Jarvis.
  • 77:34 Effort on goal by Wayne Rooney from 18 yards. Christophe Berra gets a block in.
  • 74:18 Kevin Doyle challenges Chris Smalling unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Chris Smalling.
  • 72:49 The ball is swung over by Matthew Jarvis.
  • 70:58 Luis Nani produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.
  • 65:58 Wayne Rooney challenges Ronald Zubar unfairly and gives away a free kick. Wayne Hennessey restarts play with the free kick.
  • 65:58 Booking Wayne Rooney is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
  • 64:45 Substitution Dimitar Berbatov leaves the field to be replaced by Javier Hernandez.
  • 64:31 Substitution Chris Smalling on for Jonathan Evans.
  • 63:55 Substitution Stephen Ward on for Adam Hammill.
  • 60:09 Short corner taken by Luis Nani.
  • 58:16 Substitution Kevin Foley is brought on as a substitute for Jamie O'Hara.
  • 57:05 The ball is delivered by Luis Nani, Shot by Paul Scholes from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
  • 55:23 Jamie O'Hara has an effort at goal. Blocked by Darren Fletcher.
  • 50:45 Matthew Jarvis sends in a cross, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
  • 49:56 Darren Fletcher fouled by Jamie O'Hara, the ref awards a free kick. Jonathan Evans restarts play with the free kick.
  • 49:56 Booking Jamie O'Hara is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
  • 49:04 The referee blows for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. Wayne Hennessey takes the free kick.
  • 47:53 Shot from just outside the penalty box by Luis Nani misses to the left of the target.
  • 47:22 Ryan Giggs takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Ronald Zubar manages to make a clearance.
  • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
  • 45:01 Substitution Paul Scholes comes on in place of Michael Carrick.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+1:37 The players leave the pitch at half time.
  • 45:00+0:42 Foul by Wayne Rooney on Adam Hammill, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Wayne Hennessey.
  • 44:51 The ball is crossed by Rafael Da Silva, Header on goal by Luis Nani from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 41:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Evans by Karl Henry. Ryan Giggs delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, save by Wayne Hennessey.
  • 41:58 Booking Booking for Karl Henry.
  • 39:24 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ronald Zubar by Nemanja Vidic. Assist by Nenad Milijas.
  • 39:24 GOAL - Kevin DoyleWolverhampton 2 - 1 Man Utd Kevin Doyle scores a headed goal from deep inside the penalty box. Wolverhampton 2-1 Man Utd.
  • 38:17 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nenad Milijas on Darren Fletcher. Darren Fletcher takes the free kick.
  • 36:47 Inswinging corner taken by Jamie O'Hara from the right by-line.
  • 35:43 Unfair challenge on Nenad Milijas by Rafael Da Silva results in a free kick. Nenad Milijas shoots direct from the free kick.
  • 34:34 Foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Christophe Berra, free kick awarded. Wayne Hennessey restarts play with the free kick.
  • 34:02 The ball is sent over by Luis Nani, clearance by Richard Stearman.
  • 31:49 Corner taken by Jamie O'Hara.
  • 31:21 Shot by Jamie O'Hara. Save made by Edwin Van der Sar.
  • 30:28 Corner taken by Jamie O'Hara.
  • 27:28 Richard Stearman concedes a free kick for a foul on Wayne Rooney. Luis Nani has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
  • 26:39 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Doyle on Nemanja Vidic. Jonathan Evans takes the direct free kick.
  • 22:11 Michael Carrick challenges Nenad Milijas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jamie O'Hara crosses the ball in from the free kick.
  • 21:32 The ball is swung over by Luis Nani, Dimitar Berbatov produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
  • 19:06 Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Comfortable save by Wayne Hennessey.
  • 18:41 The ball is delivered by Luis Nani, save by Wayne Hennessey.
  • 17:43 The offside flag is raised against Dimitar Berbatov. Wayne Hennessey takes the free kick.
  • 16:52 Corner taken by Ryan Giggs played to the near post.
  • 16:22 Karl Henry produces a cross, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
  • 16:01 Jonathan Evans concedes a free kick for a foul on Kevin Doyle. Nenad Milijas takes the direct free kick.
  • 14:53 Inswinging corner taken by Luis Nani from the left by-line played to the near post.
  • 14:42 Shot from 18 yards by Ryan Giggs. Blocked by Richard Stearman.
  • 12:59 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nemanja Vidic on Kevin Doyle. Richard Stearman restarts play with the free kick.
  • 9:48 Matthew Jarvis decides to take a short corner. The assist for the goal came from Matthew Jarvis.
  • 9:48 GOAL - George ElokobiWolverhampton 1 - 1 Man Utd George Elokobi scores a headed goal from close in. Wolverhampton 1-1 Man Utd.
  • 6:40 Drilled right-footed shot by Luis Nani. Wayne Hennessey makes a comfortable save.
  • 4:27 Shot by Wayne Rooney. Comfortable save by Wayne Hennessey.
  • 2:47 Assist on the goal came from Darren Fletcher.
  • 2:47 GOAL - Luis NaniWolverhampton 0 - 1 Man Utd Luis Nani grabs a goal from inside the area low into the middle of the goal. Wolverhampton 0-1 Man Utd.
  • 0:59 Nenad Milijas produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • 0:00 The game begins.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 5 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 25 31 54
2 Arsenal 25 27 50
3 Man City 26 20 49
4 Chelsea 24 25 44
5 Tottenham 25 8 44
6 Sunderland 26 1 37
7 Liverpool 25 2 35
8 Bolton 26 -1 33
9 Stoke 25 -1 33
10 Newcastle 25 2 31
11 Blackburn 26 -8 31
12 Fulham 26 0 30
13 Everton 25 -1 30
14 Aston Villa 26 -15 29
15 Blackpool 25 -11 28
16 West Brom 25 -17 26
17 Wigan 26 -18 26
18 Birmingham 23 -10 24
19 West Ham 25 -17 24
20 Wolves 25 -17 24

see also
McCarthy delighted to beat Man Utd
05 Feb 11 |  Wolves
Doyle puzzled by inconsistent Wolves
05 Feb 11 |  Wolves
Ferdinand sidelined for two weeks
05 Feb 11 |  Man Utd
Saturday football as it happened
05 Feb 11 |  Football
Wolves feel 'robbed' after defeat
03 Feb 11 |  Premier League



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