Unhappy new year for Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick fell to his first loss as Manchester United manager after Joao Moutinho’s 82nd minute strike earned Wolverhampton a 1-0 win in the English Premier League on Monday.

Outplayed for much of the game, United’s players looked like they would survive for a point until Moutinho met a defensive headed clearance with a volley from the edge of the area that rolled inside the post.

This was the toughest test of Rangnick’s opening six matches in charge and United couldn’t get near Wolves at times at Old Trafford.

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There were murmurings of discontent from the home fans, too, with some jeering Rangnick’s decision to substitute Mason Greenwood just before the hour.

United stayed in seventh place, 22 points off leader Manchester City and four off the top four.

Rangnick, whose previous league opponents included the bottom three of Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley, handed a first start in nearly two years in all competitions for Phil Jones. The former England center back has struggled with a longstanding right knee injury and was given a rousing ovation when he made his first clearance of the game.

Jones couldn’t mark his return with a clean sheet, though, while Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa preserved his with a diving save to his right to keep out Bruno Fernandes’ free kick with one of the last acts of the game.

Fernandes had been the player to come on for Greenwood and, within minutes, struck the crossbar with United’s best chance. Cristiano Ronaldo also had a goal for United disallowed for offside.

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