Manchester United defender Raphael Varane scored the winner for Manchester United against Wolves making up for an earlier missed opportunity.

The best chance in the first half for Manchester United may have fallen to one of the players you wouldn’t want it to.

Bruno Fernandes’ pinpoint corner kick was met by the head of Raphael Varane, but only just. The Frenchman’s free header barely connected, and it was a chance wasted.

Speaking to Sky Sports, former Red Gary Neville said he could tell from Varane’s reaction that it was a real opportunity wasted.

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Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
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Varane chance missed

Manchester United’s poor record from set pieces was highlighted by Sky Sports before kick-off and Varane’s miss highlighted the lack of ruthlessness which the team need to improve.

Speaking to Sky’s Monday Night Football, Neville said: “As a set piece coach you can’t ask for more than that [the delivery].

“He should do better Varane. He puts his head in his hands. He knows that’s a big, big chance and a big miss.”

“He’s an experienced player, it’s coming fast through bodies, he’s just taken his eye off the ball and not got enough contact on it.”

Varane makes up for it

Varane does not get too many chances per game, and so when the ball came to him in the second half, he made no mistake, heading into the net to break the deadlock.

He roared off towards the Stretford End, thrilled to get on the scoresheet, probably especially so after his earlier miss.

The Frenchman’s breakthrough came just when Manchester United needed it. Varane scored in the 76th minute in a move from open play, from an Aaron Wan-Bissaka cross.

It was a little of a surprise to see Varane inside the six-yard box at that point – but he was a welcome sight, rising highest to head the ball into the net after Wan-Bissaka had guided the ball to evade goalkeeper Jose Sa.

Varane had only ever scored one goal for Manchester United prior to this. He doesn’t get too many in his career, with only eight in La Liga for Real Madrid in 236 league matches.

He picked the perfect moment to step up for United, with the team desperate for a goal to seal all three points.

It was important to get off to a win and set the tone for a good season ahead. This performance raised more questions than it answered for United, but when all is said and done, the victory was ultimately the only aspect which truly mattered, and Varane can reflect on a successful night, rather than one where he counts his regrets.