Manchester United and Wolves both missed out on the chance to go into fifth on Saturday evening following a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.
Adama Traore had Wolves' first big chance of the game, but he fired his shot just wide of the post. New United signing Bruno Fernandes had a few opportunities to mark his debut with a goal, the best of his efforts a powerful long shot that went straight into the hands of Rui Patricio.
Manchester United kept firing efforts at goal, with Fernandes' solid free kick once again comfortably saved by Patricio. Juan Mata's driven shot flashed just wide of the post, but it remained goalless at Old Trafford as the game approached the hour mark.
United continued to pile the pressure on the visitors, but they couldn't find the breakthrough. Substitute Mason Greenwood thought he had finally broken the deadlock from close range, but Patricio managed to smother his shot before it could cross the line.
Key Talking Point
After failing to reach the Carabao Cup final on Wednesday, Manchester United were looking to return to winning ways. Although they managed to string together some decent chances, the Red Devils didn't look very convincing and never seemed like causing concern for Patricio.
United were uninspiring and flat in a game they had to win to continue their pursuit of a top four finish, in another underwhelming performance. The only positive was the performance of Bruno Fernandes, whose Red Devils debut was an encouraging sign for the future.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have shown their quality in recent victories, but Saturday was another example of the work to be done at Old Trafford. United were lacklustre and didn't deserved anything from the game, and should consider themselves lucky to come away with a point.
Starting XI: De Gea (6); Wan-Bissaka (6), Lindelof (6), Maguire (6), Shaw (5); Fred (6), Fernandes (7*); James (5), Mata (6), Pereira (6); Martial (5).
Substitutes: Greenwood (6), Dalot (N/A), Lingard (N/A).
Bruno Fernandes in the first half on his Man Utd debut:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 1, 2020
Most touches (58)
Most passes attempted (46)
Most shots (3)
Centre of attention. pic.twitter.com/Sp3SW8zXZM
STAR MAN - Making his Manchester United debut, Bruno Fernandes showed a lot of promise and a snippet of his talent. His passing and control of the ball was impressive to see, and while his shooting wasn't up to his usual standard, he definitely did have a positive impact in his first game in red.
Key Talking Point
Wolves were out for revenge after they were knocked out of the FA Cup by United just a few weeks ago. The visitors started positively and had some half chances, with Jimenez, Jota and Traore full of energy going forward.
The Wanderers had good stints of possession, dictating the game through the midfield pivot of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho. However they saw some huge chances pass by, and at the end of the day Wolves will be asking how they didn't come away with all three points.
Nuno Espirito Santo will take the point in what was a shockingly poor game, but Wolves could've taken all three had they been more clinical. They have now failed to beat United in all four meetings this season, missing out on a chance to move into fifth in a mixed result for Nuno's side.
Starting XI: Patricio (7*); Boly (6), Coady (7), Saiss (6); Doherty (6), Moutinho (7), Neves (7), Otto (6); Traore (7), Jimenez (6), Jota (6).
Substitutes: Neto (6), Podence (6), Dendoncker (N/A).
STAR MAN - Wolves have goalkeeper Rui Patricio to thank for the point, as the Portuguese international had a superb game in goal. Patricio made save after save in all shapes and form, keeping out everything United threw at him and remaining solid in between the stick all evening long.
Wolves is lucky to have Rui Patricio. A good goalkeeper from Sporting CP.— 7 (@7ermizi) February 1, 2020
Manchester United's two week break comes at a good time, with two big games coming up next. United start with a trip to London to face Chelsea on 17 February, before returning to European action three days later when they travel to Club Brugge in the Europa League round of 32.
Wolves have a double bill at Molineux in two weeks, first hosting Leicester City on 14 February. Nuno Espirito Santo's side then play the first leg of their Europa League knockout tie, hosting La Liga side Espanyol on 20 February.