Rashford’s Last Gasp Winner Seals Win For United

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - December 29, 2020 Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Michael Regan

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Rashford’s Last Gasp Winner Seals Win For United: Rashford’s stoppage-time winner moves United into second place behind Liverpool.

Manchester United welcomed Wolves to Old Trafford in an important game for both sides. United come into this game in great form remaining unbeaten in their last nine league games.

Ole’s men will feel hard done by as they drew with Leicester in their last game having been ahead twice. A win against Wolves could be season changing for moral. A win would move them up to second place just two points behind current champions Liverpool.

Nuno Santos’s Wolves enter this fixture in very mixed form. Impressive wins against Chelsea and Arsenal were followed with poor defeats against Burnley and Villa. This accompanied with draws against Spurs in their last game and against Southampton.

It is unclear what kind of Wolves side will turn up given the patchy form. A victory for Wolves could bump them up the table into tenth position on twenty-four points. With United in such good form Nuno Santos’s side will need to give everything they have to get a result.

 

Lineups

Manchester United: DeGea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; Matic, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani.

Wolves: Rui Patricio; Kilman, Coady, Saiss; Hoever, Neves, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri; Vitinha; Traore, Neto.

 

First Half

Wolves started the game the far stronger of the two sides. It didn’t take long for them to begin raining down shots on the United goal. The first real chance from Wolves came in the seventh minute.

Pedro Neto receives the ball on the wing, cutting inside for a shot. His bending effort sails straight into the hands of DeGea. Just three minutes later Nuno Santos’s side were at it again.

This time after a Pogba mistake as he loses the ball outside his own box. Vitinha intercepts the ball and darts towards the opposition box, shooting from long range. However, his shot is once again into the clutches of the Spanish goalkeeper.

After a scrappy opening from United it wasn’t until the thirty-third minute mark that they had their first chance. Greenwood on the wing bends in a cross, floating over the entire Wolves backline. The ball drops to a pouncing Fernandes who attempts a side-foot finish.

However, Rui Patricio is up to the task with a great reflex save. On the thirty-eighth minute it was Wolves again creating the main chances of the half. This time from a set-piece. A low cross on the edge of the box met the backheeled flick of Saiss.

The ball flashes across the goal with DeGea parrying over the bar. At halftime the score was nil nil with Wolves the far more dominant side of the half. Manchester United were lacking any real cutting edge in the final third. Their sloppy passing seemed to kill any attack they had dead in its tracks.

 

Unacceptable:' Rashford embarrasses Wolves defender

 

Second Half

The second half was very physical and slow with both sides constantly fouling each other on the counterattack. United were far more aggressive in closing down Wolves, denying them the shooting space they had previously.

It wasn’t until the sixty-ninth minute in which the first chance presented itself. This time it was for United as they looked the more determined to nab the first goal. A Luke Shaw corner was ricocheted around the box, eventually spitting out to striker Cavani, who tapped in.

However, VAR ruled the goal as offside. Just two minutes later Wolves stepped up a gear and created a chance of their own. A first time Conor Coady cross landed for the head of Saiss.

His leaping header flashed toward goal with DeGea getting mere fingertips to it to prevent a goal. As the minutes wore on it appeared that the game was destined for a draw. Neither side were creating any real clear-cut chances of note.

However United were eager to push for the win showing real desire late on. They pushed men up the pitch, flooding the Wolves box well into stoppage time. In the dying minutes they got their reward.

As United passed around the edge of the box, striker Rashford found an opening. He cut inside to shoot, his shot deflecting wildly off the back of Saiss into the goal. Rui Patricio was left stranded, watching on helplessly as the ball flew past him. T

The match finished one-nil to the red devils with Rashford’s stoppage-time goal the definitive moment.

 

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Managers Views

Solskjaer was the happier of the two managers despite being on the backfoot most of the game. The result now extends his side’s unbeaten run to ten matches in the league. The victory moves United into second just two points off top spot.

With talk emerging about a title challenge with Liverpool, Ole quickly dampened those comments in his post-game interview.

 “Last season we didn’t win many points towards the end of games and we have a tradition of it at this club.

“Now we’ve won quite a few points towards the end of games and that’s both a mental aspect and also a physical aspect.

“We’ve got a group now that’s more robust both mentally and physically, we’ve gone through some tough training periods and played loads of games and they’re getting fitter.

“But mentally it gives you a mental boost knowing you can win games towards the end of games.

For Nuno Santo and his Wolves side this once again marks a patchy performance despite some good moments. His side are now winless in their last three with a tough trip to a resilient Brighton next.

Santo thought his side were the far better team and deserved more than what they got.

“This is football and a learning process.”

“It’s cruel in the moment but you can’t stay feeling sorry. You have to move forward,”

“We created chances. Sometimes we should finish more.”

 

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