In 180 minutes of this FA Cup Third Round tie, there was little quality from either Manchester United or Wolves.

Nevertheless, United progressed in the replay at Old Trafford thanks to a second-half Juan Mata goal. The Spaniard produced a fantastic finish as the Reds broke clear, assisted by an Anthony Martial.

It was three defensive players that stood out, though.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Brandon Williams

It was an archetypal Williams performance; brave, confident, direct and impressive. The 19-year-old has his admirers right across the country, including many at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.


He bossed the FA Cup Third Round Replay in the same way he’s taken control of games throughout the season.

Coming up against the physically imposing and ever-improving Adama Traore, Williams defended well.

His aerial presence was important for Solskjaer’s team and Harry Maguire could be regularly seen dropping off to allow Williams to take control of the situation. Maguire’s trust was a sign of the young left-back’s quality.

Going forward, as ever, Williams was a force. He’s quick and direct and skips over challenges with ease, unless he fancies drawing the foul and the free-kick or penalty, as he did at the weekend against Norwich. He’ll surely start at Anfield.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Sergio Romero

United’s high-quality second-choice goalkeeper showed his ability again. He had little work to do in terms of shotstopping but he remained alert all night.

Wolves often looked to break past United’s defence and into the space between it and Romero.

Traore was key for that. But Romero dealt with all that came towards him, coming out of his box to clear on more than five occasions. He touched the ball outside the box six times. That was vital for United.

(Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Though Juan Mata clearly deserves praise for a wonderful, neat finish over John Ruddy to give United the win, Wan-Bissaka did well.

He got forward a little more than usual and though his crossing still leaves a little to be desired, he’s improving. Coaches at United have been working on Wan-Bissaka’s crossing at the behest of the player himself.

In defence, there was one moment where Wan-Bissaka was dribbled past. It took your breath away such is the rarity of such an event. Other than that, he was exemplary in defence as normal and this was one game which showed that he’s breaking forward more than at the start of the season.

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