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Manchester United opened their Premier League season with a 1-0 win on Monday at Old Trafford thanks to a second-half goal from Raphael Varane that allowed the hosts to narrowly avoid a less-than-ideal start.

Though Wolves started strong, United quickly began to dominate as expected and slowly made their way towards goal. Antony and Marcus Rashofrd looked bright early on and connected for a shot in the 12th minute that was eventually saved by Jose Sa, but United only managed a single shot on target in the first half despite taking eight shots in total. Wolves, meanwhile, started to find a rhythm as the half progressed and were dangerous on the counter. The visitors had perhaps the best chances at goal of the first half as Matheus Cunha and Pablo Sarabia combined frequently, including Sarabia's 27th minute shot that sailed just wide of the goal.

Though both teams racked up shots in the second half, momentum favored Wolves and the visitors looked much more likely to score for a long stretch of the half. Wolves were particularly close to scoring in the 72nd minute when Pedro Neto forced Andre Onana to make a point-blank save, but United started to assert themselves as the final 15 minutes approached. The hosts eventually got the breakthrough when Raphael Varane scored on a header in the 76th minute, and staved off a late flurry of chances and a penalty call to open their season on a winning note.

That said, the imperfect performance from United raised some questions about the team's credentials to improve upon last season's third-place finish and outlined clear areas of improvement.

Here are takeaways from the game:

A mess in midfield

United's midfield trio of Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount failed to truly take command of the center of the park, which caused the hosts plenty of problems. Chief among those issues was the vulnerability United had in transition, which Wolves exploited as often as they could. A majority of Wolves' 23 shots, six of which were on target, came courtesy of the opportunity United gifted the likes of Cunha and Sarabia. The midfield woes also led Wolves to beat United on expected goals -- the visitors posted an xG of 2.23, while the hosts managed 1.46.

United's midfield improved with the addition of Christian Eriksen in the 68th minute, who provided a spark going forward as the team searched for a go-ahead goal. Creativity was sorely needed for United's attack at that point, but it was not the only offensive issue for them. The team mustered 15 shots but just three on goal, demonstrating a habit of being mostly wasteful with their chances in their opening match.

There's no reason for one game to define an entire season, but if the pattern continues, United will need to reevaluate their midfield options. With just over two weeks left in the transfer window, making a new signing may be easier said than done, but the performance will require manager Erik ten Hag to tweak things before the team's match against Tottenham Hotspur in five days.

Mixed bag for newcomers

While forward Rasmus Hojlund recovers from a back injury, ten Hag was able to start the team's other new signings -- Mount and goalkeeper Onana -- as he aims to make his mark at Old Trafford. The results were mixed.

Onana did well to clean up United's mess and was able to meet the moment every time Wolves took one of their many chances at goal. He made six saves in total and was one of the bright spots for the hosts on a lackluster day and seems like a natural fit in the role after David de Gea's years-long tenure ended. The new goalkeeper nearly made a costly error in stoppage time, though, when he missed the ball entirely and charged into Sasa Kalajdzic, but was fortunate that a penalty was not awarded after a video review.

Mount, meanwhile, had an 81% pass completion rate and made seven recoveries but had little else to brag about in his United debut. He made very little impact defensively as Wolves ran rampant through United's midfield with one interception and no tackles attempted and offered little in terms of forward-thinking play.

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Cunha shines for Wolves

The odds were stacked against Wolves following a dramatic offseason that included a managerial change just five days ago, but the team impressed in their opening match of the season despite failing to earn a point.

Wolves were arguably the better side over the course of 90 minutes. They were nearly even with United in possession and outshined them in attack, posting more attempts and shots on target than the hosts and also won the xG battle. Cunha easily took advantage of United's midfield weaknesses and impressed at Old Trafford. He pitched in at the start of attacking plays and took a few shots of his own. The forward took five shots in total and one on goal and posted an xG of 0.49 all by himself.

The visitors' attacking excellence was a team effort, though -- Sarabia and Pedro Neto frequently joined Cunha as the team charged forward, but Wolves were arguably just as wasteful as United going forward. The performance against United, though, is an encouraging sign for Wolves and new manager Gary O'Neill despite the team's inability to truly improve the squad over the summer.