It was late drama at Old Trafford as Manchester United clinched a 93rd-minute winner via Marcus Rashford against Wolves to register their ninth win of the Premier League season. The Red Devils had to dig deep to overcome what was an incredibly spirited display from the visitors as they looked set to take away a point at the very least from the game.
The importance of the game — where a win could take them up to second place — was not lost on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he opted for an attacking line up with the likes of Edinson Cavani, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, and Rashford.
Despite fielding a relatively weakened Wolves side, Nuno Espirito Santo's men managed to craft a few superb chances for themselves in the first half and looked likelier to find a breakthrough. The visitors' two-pronged attack of Adama Traore and Pedro Neto caused the Red Devils' backline all sorts of troubles, the with the Spaniard in particular dancing past the United defence a fair few times.
Roman Saiss came close to scoring an opener on two occasions from two set-pieces, with the first grazing the crossbar and the second drawing an excellent reflex stop from David de Gea.
Manchester United also had a gilt-edged chance that fell to Bruno Fernandes from a sublime ball delivered by Mason Greenwood. The Portuguese, though, was thwarted by his compatriot Rui Patricio, who pulled off a stunning save from point-blank range. Alex Telles and Marcus Rashford were the primary threats from the left-hand side for the hosts, but their deliveries and runs were dealt with smartly by Wolves.
Both sides began the second half with a noticeable amount of caution. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reacted to Traore and Neto's threat down the flank by bringing on Luke Shaw in place of Telles at half time.
Wolves continued to marshall United's strikeforce excellently and brought on in-form winger Daniel Podence to replace Vitinha to add an edge to their attack. Nuno's counterpart then followed suit and brought on Anthony Martial to add some much-needed incision to his frontline.
United thought they finally found a way past the right Wolves backline with a goal from a corner but Edinson Cavani was quickly ruled offside, and the hosts were denied a penalty despite the replays suggesting the ball brushed past Conor Coady's arm.
The intensity of the game eventually died down towards the 75th minute with Wolves sitting deeper in their half. The raft of substitutes failed to leave much of an impact on the game either, and while United bombarded up the pitch time and time again, Coady, Saiss, and Max Kilman ensured that the hosts were kept at bay.
With less than two minutes left on the clock, Fernandes dispatched a raking long ball to Rashford on the right, and the Englishman wrong-sided Rayan Ait-Nouri to fire the ball past a helpless Patricio with his weaker foot. The ball took a wicked deflection off arguably the best defender on the night, Saiss, to break Wolves hearts all over the globe.
The three points have now seen the Red Devils climb up to second place on the table with 30 points in 15 games and leaves them just two points off defending champions, Liverpool. Solskjaer's men have had an eventful 2020, but end the year on a mighty positive note and are now unbeaten in their last nine Premier League games.
Here, we take a look at the best tweets from the game.
Published 30 Dec 2020, 03:57 IST