Mainoo 97th-minute goal helps Man Utd defeat Wolves
Manchester United emerged victorious with a 4-3 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, courtesy of Kobbie Mainoo’s 97th-minute game-winning goal in a thrilling Premier League encounter.
Mainoo elegantly curved his inaugural Premier League goal beyond the reach of Jose Sa, mere moments after Pedro Neto seemed to secure a crucial point for Wolves.
Wolves staged an impressive comeback, erasing a 2-0 halftime deficit and overcoming a 3-1 scoreline on 85 minutes. However, Manchester United ultimately secured the three points, courtesy of 18-year-old Mainoo. The young talent, picking up the ball on the left, skillfully nutmegged Max Kilman, cut inside, and expertly bent the ball into the bottom corner.
Marcus Rashford opened the scoring five minutes into his return to the United lineup, having been absent from the FA Cup fourth round due to illness amid reports of missing training following a night out in Belfast. Rasmus Hojlund then doubled the lead.
Although Pablo Sarabia pulled one back from the penalty spot, and Scott McTominay seemingly secured the win for the visitors with a headed goal from a corner 15 minutes before the end as a second-half substitute, the late chaos was just beginning.
Wolves’ captain, Kilman, added to the excitement with a close-range goal following a corner, ensuring a thrilling grandstand finish.
In the sixth minute of the nine added, Neto found the back of the net, catching Andre Onana off guard as United fell victim to a counterattack.
Despite Wolves’ exuberant celebration, it turned out to be premature as Mainoo had the ultimate say in this extraordinary match.
Erik ten Hag’s team reclaimed a spot in the top seven, breaking a four-match winless streak in away league matches and now sit eight points adrift of the Champions League places. Meanwhile, Wolves maintain their 11th position.
Rashford scores five minutes into United return
As the evening commenced, all attention focused on Rashford, who, despite being embroiled in what the club termed an “internal disciplinary matter,” secured a starting spot for United.
Rashford was absent from Sunday’s victory at Newport County following reports last week of his presence in nightspots in Northern Ireland on Wednesday and Thursday, preceding his unwell arrival at training on Friday.
Ten Hag has declared the matter resolved, citing Rashford’s acknowledgment of responsibility, and the English forward certainly demonstrated his commitment within the first five minutes. A well-placed cross from the right, flicked back by Hojlund, landed at the edge of the area, where Rashford executed a smooth and controlled finish, curling the ball past Sa. Celebrating in front of the away fans, he was engulfed by teammates.
Rashford’s synergy with Luke Shaw also appeared revitalized, as the English duo combined in the Wolves area, leading to Shaw setting up Hojlund for the second goal. Rashford slid in to convert from close range as the Wolves defense struggled to clear.
Amid a challenging week for Rashford and United, Ten Hag faced numerous questions about the forward’s future at Old Trafford. While Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho departed United following disputes with the Dutch manager, Rashford has been reintegrated, showcasing why he retains the trust of Ten Hag.
Having scored in the early stages, Rashford demonstrated his defensive commitment by tracking back nearly 50 yards, pressuring Matheus Cunha into a shot that went straight at Onana, who was making a return to the XI after Cameroon’s early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.
The entire Manchester United team appeared rejuvenated as they dominated Wolves in the first 45 minutes. Hojlund had an unfortunate moment, unable to convert when he charged down a clearance from Sa, and both he and Casemiro had goals disallowed due to offside calls.
However, United’s struggles with inconsistency became evident in the second half, allowing Wolves to claw their way back into the game. Ultimately, they had to rely on another product from their academy, Mainoo, to rescue them.