Marcus Rashford’s injury-time winner saw Manchester United eke out a narrow 1-0 win over Wolves at Old Trafford, a result that sees the Red Devils temporarily climb up to second in the 2020-21 Premier League table.
The result was tough on a Wolves side that came into the game barely 48 hours after their last fixture, defended doggedly and created enough opportunities during the course of the game to merit at least a point.
However, a superb performance from David de Gea in the Manchester United goal kept Wolves at bay at one end. While fatigue finally set in at the other, Marcus Rashford ghosted in behind the visitors’ tired defence and scored via a deflection in the 93rd minute to claim all three points for his side.
Thanks to the win, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men now sit in second place in the Premier League table, two points behind league leaders Liverpool, who face Newcastle United on Wednesday evening.
Wolves, on the other hand, are 12th in the league table amidst a whole host of sides battling for a place in the top half. On that note, let’s take a look at the player ratings for Manchester United as they end 2020 with a positive result on home turf.
David de Gea: 8/10
David de Gea kept Manchester United in the game with a string of sensational saves in both halves, showing excellent reflexes to keep a number of shots at bay en route to a well-deserved clean sheet.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 5/10
Manchester United’s right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka found himself high up the pitch on a number of occasions on his return from injury.
However, his lack of attacking instinct was exposed, as he passed up many opportunities to cross into the box, instead opting to turn back and pass inside, which killed the momentum of his side's moves.
Eric Bailly: 6/10
While Harry Maguire was the busier and more involved of Manchester United’s centre-back duo, Eric Bailly smartly used his pace and power to snuff out Wolves’ attacks and was extremely calm and composed in defence.
Harry Maguire: 5/10
Harry Maguire was involved in an engaging physical battle against Adama Traore. The Manchester United skipper also found himself in a couple of uncomfortable situations and was forced to commit a few clumsy fouls but acquitted himself well in the face of one of the Premier League’s toughest defensive assignments.
Alex Telles: 5/10
Manchester United’s attacking left-back got forward well in trademark fashion but would have liked his crosses into the box to be much more accurate than they were. However, Telles was efficient in defence before he was replaced by Luke Shaw at half time.
Nemanja Matic: 6/10
The experienced midfielder Nemanja Matic went about his business in a trademark no-nonsense fashion, displaying extreme calmness as he made a number of timely interceptions to regain possession for his side.
Paul Pogba: 6/10
In an assured showing from the Manchester United midfielder, whose full range of passing was on display, Paul Pogba looked to get his side moving forward at every opportunity. However, a well-organised Wolves side made time and space hard to come by for the Frenchman, who struggled to have as much of an impact as he is capable of.
Bruno Fernandes: 6/10
It was a rare off night for Manchester United’s star playmaker, for whom little came off when he tried to link up with his teammates or go for goal himself. Nevertheless, Bruno Fernandes kept trying to create scoring opportunities and set up Rashford for the winner with a sumptuous long ball over the top of the Wolves defence.
Mason Greenwood: 5/10
Despite finding himself in promising positions down Manchester United’s right flank, Mason Greenwood was unable to influence the game, as he was not able to get the better of his markers before he was taken off just after the hour mark in favour of Anthony Martial.
Edinson Cavani: 5/10
Making only his second Premier League start, the experienced Uruguayan Edinson Cavani was often left isolated in the Wolves box amidst the opponents' three centre-backs and was unable to have an impact on the game.
Marcus Rashford: 6/10
Marcus Rashford had the beating of Coady and Howeder down Wolves’ right flank in the first half but was unable to make an impact inspite of his excellent dribbling skills.
He switched sides in the second half but did not have much joy either. However, Marcus Rashford did not stop trying until the final whistle and was rewarded for his efforts with a late winner.
Ratings of Manchester United Substitutes:
Luke Shaw: 6/10
Luke Shaw came on at left-back as part of an apparent tactical tweak and used his pace and physicality well in dealing with the threat of Adama Traore while also contributing offensively with regular forward runs.
Anthony Martial: 5/10
The Frenchman Anthony Martial started on the left wing after coming on but drifted inside as the game wore on, carrying the ball forward on a number of purposeful runs, only to be met by a resolute Wolves defence.
Scott McTominay: N.A.
Scott McTominay came on to see the final seconds of the game out but barely got a touch of the ball.Published 30 Dec 2020, 04:53 IST