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West Ham United
18 March 2012
• Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 27494
J. Evans 21'
A. Valencia 43'
D. Welbeck 45'+
J. Hernández 56', 61'
It's all over, and in truth Wolves never looked like making a dent in that scoreline after Zubar's red card. United are now four points clear at the top, though Manchester City have a game in hand. Wolves, however, drop to the bottom of the table after their sixth consecutive defeat in the Premier League. You don't have to be a genius to work out that's relegation form.
90' + 1'
A slight bit of over-indulgence there from Chicharito, attempting a back-heeled through ball to Welbeck after the England man had found him with a similar flick. It doesn't quite work.
Valencia mishits a volley, and Chicharito's header from distance almost catches out Hennessey, but it's easily stopped in the end.
Rooney definitely wants a goal here. He's shooting at every opportunity he gets. This one is blocked.
United's counterattacks have been sublime today. They launch another with everyone getting involved, but Welbeck's cross just doesn't reach Chicharito with a good block from a defender.
Great play from Wayne Rooney, getting away from two Wolves players before slotting Welbeck through. After slightly misjudging it, the striker gets the ball under control and pokes a shot at goal, but Hennessey stops it.
Fabio tries to get in on the act as he races to keep up with a counterattack, but his shot flies about a foot wide of the post.
The Wolves fans are chanting 'Boring' as United keep the ball. Rooney duly changes tact with a great through ball for Chicharito, but Hennessey gets in a block before the striker can get there.
Stephen Fletcher puts in a beautiful 'Rabona' cross, but it's plucked out of the sky by De Gea. At the other end, Rooney has a shot blocked after a sweeping counterattack.
Kightly whips in a free-kick to the back post and it somehow stays out of De Gea's goal. It's just one of those days for the hosts.
Yellow Card Danny Welbeck
Wolves coming back into it a bit now though. A shot from Michael Kightly is well saved by De Gea, and he makes another stop from a Stephen Fletcher header.
This game has lost any intensity now. It looks like a training ground match as United just keep the ball moving. It's about as dominant a performance as you could get from the visitors. The home fans haven't given up though. They are admirably getting even louder now that they're five goals down.
Fabio Da Silva
Assist Antonio Valencia
Goal Javier Hernández
GOAL! It's a real drubbing. But a fantastic goal. Valencia and Welbeck link up fantastically, with the striker playing the ball back to the winger with a beautiful flick. Valencia crosses over to the back post to find Chicharito unmarked yet again, and he fires it into the roof of the net.
Chicharito almost finds another after Rooney's ball whipped in towards the back post evades both him and Hennessey. The flag didn't go up, but he looked a shade offside. Not that there were any Wolves defenders around him. Poor from their defence so far.
Goal Javier Hernández
GOAL! Rooney forces a corner with a great shot that is pushed around the post well. They take the corner short, and Rafael's cross finds a completely unmarked Chicharito on the six yard line to head home. It's a bit embarrassing to see that, in all honesty.
Rafael looks to add to the tally for United, but his shot is charged down.
Foley and Rooney are both chasing a ball over the top from Carrick, and the defender flatly pushes the striker to the ground, but no free-kick is given. Surely if the referee had seen it, it would have been a foul.
United have been focusing all their attacks down the right so far in this half. They haven't quite found a way through though.
United get us underway.
HALF TIME! Into the break at Molineux and it looks to be all over unless Wolves can spark a truly miraculous comeback. Antonio Valencia has been on fire in the past 20 minutes or so, the hosts just haven't been able to deal with him.
45' + 1'
Assist Antonio Valencia
45' + 1'
Goal Danny Welbeck
GOAL! It's 3-0! A great cross-field pass from Jonny Evans finds Valencia on the right wing. Valencia teases his opponent before finding Welbeck in the area, who coolly slots home. Game over, it seems, and a collapse in the last few minutes from Wolves.
Assist Wayne Rooney
Goal Antonio Valencia
GOAL! And on the counter attack United double their lead! Chicharito finds Rooney, and the England striker plays in a great ball for Valencia. It looks like he might have taken too big a touch as he bore down on goal, but he accelerates quickly and finishes it brilliantly into the corner. Hennessey perhaps was a little slow off his line there.
Rooney finds Welbeck nicely on the edge of the area, but the young striker stumbles and can't regain his footing. Rafael then slips over as Jarvis goes past him, and the winger earns a corner from Jonny Evans. It's cleared by Welbeck though.
That's put Wolves in a very precarious position and has totally sucked the atmosphere out of the ground. It could be a long second half for the home fans.
RED CARD! Zubar is sent off for a second yellow card! Welbeck used a little bit of trickery to get away from him, but he flies in again and catches him, a very silly mistake from the right-back.
Yellow/Red Ronald Zubar
Davis is coming back onto the pitch after getting some strapping to his abdominal area. A strange one that, looked to hurt himself when tackling Chicharito.
Going to have a short break here, as the wonderfully named David Davis is down receiving some treatment.
United are in after a fantastic long pass from Rooney, but Chicharito is flagged offside. It was close, and Wolves are living dangerously at the moment.
Fletcher has an opportunity from a free-kick, but blasts it over and into the stand.
Yellow Card Ronald Zubar
Ronald Zubar is the first to go into the book after completely mowing down Wayne Rooney. Rooney just about gets out of the way of it, jumping over the challenge. He's done the Wolves man a favour there. If that had really connected he could have been shown a red.
The atmosphere has understandably gone a bit flat from the home fans. David de Gea is getting plenty of opportunities to kick it long, and is aiming them all towards Valencia so far.
Assist Michael Carrick
Goal Jonny Evans
GOAL! Jonny Evans scores his first ever Manchester United goal! It's a great corner from Wayne Rooney, whipped into the back post, and Michael Carrick unselfishly passes back across goal to Evans who volleys home from six yards. Poor marking from Wolves there though, Carrick was completely unmarked.
Close for Wolves. Jarvis puts in a great whipped cross, with Steven Fletcher getting the better of Rio Ferdinand but nods his header wide. It wouldn't have mattered if it had been on target though, the linesman has his flag up. But certainly promising for the hosts.
Rafael makes a clumsy looking challenge in the box on Matt Jarvis, and the Wolves fans are shouting for a penalty. He does make contact, but the ball was bouncing and he did manage to head it away.
Paul Scholes fires a trademark 50-yard ball out onto the right wing, inch-perfect to Antonio Valencia. Nothing comes of it, but it's a fine looking pass.
United break well again, working the ball across the area until Carrick drives a shot wide of the far post. The visitors are definitely on top now.
United give the ball away sloppily and concede a free-kick on the right wing. It's whipped in by Matt Jarvis and cleared by Michael Carrick. After a little bit of time the ball falls to Kevin Doyle on the edge of the area, but his shot on the spin doesn't trouble De Gea.
Danny Welbeck has the first shot of the match, but it's a bit of a daisy cutter and doesn't trouble Wayne Hennessey. United get the ball back though, and Rafael is played in by Valencia. The right-back squares the ball across the face of goal, but Chicharito just can't get on the end of it, and neither can Welbeck at the back post. Close for United.
United break well there, but Richard Stearman puts in a thumping challenge on Chicharito. It looked pretty fair, if a little strong. Wayne Rooney is complaining about it to the referee though.
Wolves have been keeping the ball quite nicely in the opening minutes, but haven't troubled United.
Ronald Zubar had an opportunity to get in a cross there after taking on Welbeck, but he really did balloon it, and it went straight out of play for a throw in on the other side of the pitch.
And Wolves get us underway.
The teams are out, and the whole stadium is showing their appreciation and support to Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who is currently critically ill in a London hospital.
United look to be going with a 4-4-2 formation, but Danny Welbeck appears to be playing on the wing. Wolves: Hennessey; Zubar, Bassong, Stearman, Ward; Davis, Edwards, Foley, Jarvis; Doyle, Fletcher Subs: De Vries, Berra, Johnson, Kightly, Jonsson, Hunt, Ebanks-Blake Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Welbeck; Hernandez, Rooney Subs: Amos, Giggs, Smalling, Park, Young, Fabio, Pogba
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's live play-by-play coverage of Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United. We're a little under 10 minute to kick off, and it should be a great game.
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