Rafael Varane delivers to Manchester United

The Red Devils hardly dominated Wolverhampton on Monday night (1-0).

Manchester United narrowly beat Wolverhampton (1-0) on Monday in the closing match of the first day of the English Championship. Dominating during a sterile first period, the Red Devils opened the scoring a quarter of an hour from the end with a close header from Frenchman Raphael Varane, who was well served up by a narrowly dosed cross from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

But Wolverhampton, who parted ways with coach Julen Lopetegui last week to be replaced by Gary O’Neill, have played their luck bravely so far: a strike from Matheus Cunha (49th) opened the scoring for Cameroon. Goalkeeper Andre Onana and then Pedro Neto were posted. His shot from close range lacked the power to deceive Onana (71st) on the counter-attack. And the former Inter Milan goalkeeper, who arrived in the offseason, had to continue defending at the near post to keep out a powerful shot from Fabio Silva (83rd) and then a strike from Hwang Heechan (94th). At the end of the match, Wolves unsuccessfully claimed a penalty for a miss by Onana, who hit Sasa Kalajdjik (97th).

Coach Erik ten Haag’s side, which finished third last season, has been strengthened by the arrival of Onana following the departure of David de Gea, as well as midfielder Mason Mount and striker Rasmus Hjolund, who were also injured on Monday. Manchester United lead Newcastle in fifth place after their card (5-1) against Aston Villa on Saturday. The Magpies are ahead of Luton’s home winners Brighton (4-1) and defending champions Manchester City, who won at Burnley (3-0) with a double from indispensable Norwegian Erling Haaland.

On Sunday, Chelsea held on against Liverpool (1-1), thanks in particular to their French rookie Axel Desassi, who was the scorer on his first official appearance. The London club on Monday formalized the signing of young Ecuadorian international midfielder Moises Cacido, 21, a revelation from Brighton in a transfer fee of €133 million, a record for the Premier League.

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