If you look down at the league table after the first three matches, it will tell a sorry story for Wolverhampton Wanderers and their manager Bruno Lage.
Wolves sit towards the bottom without a single point and they are also yet to score.
How the Molineux outfit haven’t found the net beggars belief. They have taken 56 attempts at goal but have been met with some outstanding goalkeeper but ultimately, poor cutting edge.
In all three of their first games of the campaign, they’ve looked productive. There is clear excitement to the football that Bruno Lage has deployed since arriving in the Midlands but they have nothing to show for it yet.
They play quick counter-attacking football but can’t quite seem to find the back of the net. Adama Traore with eight dribbles to his name was at his usual rampant self against Manchester United on Sunday, but it was almost an exact replica of their 1-0 loss to Spurs a week prior.
Once again, Wolves lost by a solitary goal but it could have so easily gone the other way.
Trincao had an effort that was destined for the goal cleared almost on the line by Aaron Wan-Bissaka and then in the second period, David de Gea made an extraordinary save to deny Romain Saiss from a corner.
At the other end, however, the goalkeeping wasn’t the best.
New signing Jose Sa didn’t actually have much to do in the game but when he was tested, he let Bruno Lage down severely.
Mason Greenwood skipped beyond Marcal and then fired a shot towards the back post. Sa reached out to deny it but could only divert the ball into the goal.
Although the Portuguese stopper should have done better, the defending from Marcal was also lazy.
As the ball was spread out towards Greenwood on the right-hand side of the box, he took the Brazilian full-back on and then fired his shot away. The defender made little attempt to get close to him and as a result, the United striker had the freedom of the box to get a shot away.
Besides that, Marcal didn’t have an awful game. With four tackles to his name, he marshalled Greenwood well for large passages of the game.
Yet, when he didn’t, it ultimately proved devastating for Wolves and Lage.
The left wing-back was sadly also lacking in attacking quality too. When the Old Gold played promisingly on the counter-attack in the first 45 minutes, he got forward on a regular basis.
Marcal occupied tidy spaces on the left flank and consistently found room for a cross. Yet, with Wolves crying out for a bit of quality, he was unsuccessful with all four of his deliveries from a wide area.
The kind of quality that deserted him meant that throughout the course of the match, the £29k-per-week earner lost possession 18 times. Alongside Paul Pogba in the United midfield, that was the highest number by any player on the pitch at Molineux.
Rayan Ait-Nouri signed permanently in the summer after an impressive end to 2020/21 so it surely won’t be long before Lage entrusts him on the left instead.
Marcal is a productive wing-back but in the big moments usually turns out to be frustrating. That was evident on Sunday evening.