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Pogba Misses Penalty as Wolves hold them

Paul Pogba had a second-half penalty saved as Manchester United were held to a Premier League draw at Wolves.

With the score 1-1 in the second half, the Frenchman was fouled by Conor Coady and got up to take the spot-kick, despite failing with three penalties last season and Marcus Rashford scoring from one against Chelsea on the opening weekend.

Pogba’s powerful shot was pushed away by Rui Patricio, who saved low to his right.

In a first half containing just three shots, Anthony Martial had put United in front with his 50th goal for the club – a fine left-footed finish – only for Ruben Neves to level with a sensational strike from the edge of the area, which bounced down off the crossbar 10 minutes after the break.

Wolves’ Raul Jimenez had flicked a header against the inside of a post just before Neves’ effort but neither keeper was troubled after Pogba’s miss.

In his news conference on Friday, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he wanted Martial and Rashford to be more clinical in front of goal.

He might well have been talking about the cross Rashford floated over to the far post midway through the opening period.

It is easy to imagine someone like Alan Shearer taking every defender with him in his desire to make sure the ball ended up in the net. Martial barely extended his right leg, let alone made contact as the opportunity drifted away.

What followed underlined just how many goals the Frenchman is capable of getting if he did adopt that ruthless streak. After a fantastic move, which started with Jesse Lingard, included Luke Shaw and ended with Rashford prodding a short pass beyond the Wolves defence, Martial struck a first-time shot, with barely any backlift, that gave Patricio no chance.

It was part of an excellent opening period for the visitors, only spoiled by the booking winger Daniel James received for diving.

The second half was a different story but United probably would have won had Pogba not missed his penalty.

The key question is why was Pogba taking it?

In addition to scoring against Chelsea, Rashford also converted in stoppage-time to seal that magnificent Champions League win at Paris St-Germain last season, in addition to scoring in England’s World Cup shootout against Colombia at the 2018 World Cup.

At the final whistle, Pogba covered his head with his shirt, then chuntered to himself as he headed for the tunnel.

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