Kobbie Mainoo’s Heroics in Manchester United’s Thrilling Win Against Wolves
The visitors were in complete control of the game when Rasmus Hojlund broke the deadlock and became the youngest player to score and assist in back-to-back Man United games, surpassing even Cristiano Ronaldo. The Red Devils were unplayable for the first forty-five minutes.
Scott McTominay‘s header appeared to be insufficient to lead the Red Devils to victory, but Wolves found their bite in the second half as Pablo Sarabia, Max Kilman, and Pedro Neto struck the target for Gary O’Neil’s team.
However, academy grads Omari Forson and Mainoo collaborated for the latter to curl home a magnificent solo effort and win the seven-goal spectacular for the visitors just two minutes after Neto’s score deep into injury time.
Erik ten Hag reiterated that the issue surrounding Rashford’s contentious trip to Belfast and his nightclub activities was “closed” after a whirlwind of reports concerning his behaviour off the field and long-term future with Man United. Rashford started in the visiting team.
The plan was for Rashford to steal the show at Molineux, where his redemption story started with just five minutes on the board, after garnering unwanted attention for several days.
Bruno Fernandes deftly sidestepped Diogo Dalot’s low throw into the box, allowing Hojlund to hold the ball up and set up Rashford on the edge of the area, where the England winger curled a magnificent drive into the corner.
Man United’s great start was rewarded with Rashford’s sixth Premier League goal of the year. Andre Onana didn’t have to make a save until the 21st minute, although Matheus Cunha’s feeble effort never troubled him.
Shortly after Cunha’s effort, Rashford found Luke Shaw’s signature overlapping run on the left, and the defender’s low ball into the six-yard box was bundled in by Hojlund in spite of Craig Dawson and Jose Sa’s best efforts. This was the Red Devils’ second opportunity to score.
Hojlund looked to have the finishing touch to put the ball in the net amidst the hectic three-man goalmouth scramble, and the visitors should have been out of sight in the 26th minute when Casemiro headed wide from Fernandes’s well-executed free kick.
O’Neil’s team continued to struggle to score goals as the half went on. Raphael Varane also missed a volley in the 34th minute, and in the final moments of the first half, Hojlund and Casemiro both made the net bulge, only to be saved by an offside call.
Four minutes into the second half, Wolves came dangerously close to granting themselves an unjustifiable lifeline through a free kick of their own, but Lisandro Martinez skillfully hooked Kilman’s goal-bound header away from danger after Onana was caught in no man’s land.
Similar to how he clattered Sasa Kalajdzic on the first weekend of the season, Onana also disqualified Kilman in the process of revealing his goal, but VAR officer Paul Tierney, who dubious decided not to award Chelsea two penalties in Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to Liverpool, did not feel the need to intervene.
A mistake by Toti put Hojlund in front of Sa with a golden opportunity to double Wolves’ agony, but the Dane shot straight at the Portuguese goal with the goal at his mercy, giving the hosts a small breath of fresh air.
After Onana and Varane narrowly prevented Dawson from tying the score three minutes later, the hosts were granted a far more controversial penalty, following the former’s possibly fortunate escape from surrendering a penalty earlier in the contest.
After the softest of swipes from Casemiro, Neto struck the ground spectacularly with 68 minutes remaining. However, Jarred Gillett immediately signalled to the spot, and the VAR room confirmed the referee’s judgement. Sarabia then calmly stroked in his spot kick down the middle.
But just as Wolves’ hopes were beginning to rise, Ten Hag’s brilliant substitute in the 75th minute saw Man United reclaim their two-goal lead. McTominay, left alone at a corner, sent a header into the ground and into the roof of the net past a flat-footed Sa.
Wolves’ diligent work was quickly undone by some genuinely appalling set-piece defending, but in the 85th minute, the hosts would ironically cut the Red Devils’ lead once again with a corner of their own.
Only Dawson, who volleyed the ball back into the mixer for Kilman, and his centre-back partner calmly chested the ball down before a smooth turn and finish allowed Man United to clear a corner from Sarabia.
After a corner put several Man United shirts in the Wolves half, the hosts launched a lightning-fast counterattack that ended with Neto firing through Varane’s legs and into the back of the net at Onana’s exposed near post. This caused Molineux to explode into unbridled pandemonium in the fifth of nine additional minutes.
Just two minutes later, though, the much-coveted Mainoo surged at the Wolves backline, opened up his body, and found the far corner like a seasoned number nine, setting off joyous scenes from the away end as Ten Hag’s team triumphed. This would cause the home fans to collapse completely.
Man United, who will take on West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday, has surged to seventh place in the rankings after snapping a four-game losing streak away from home. Wolves, however, are currently ranked eleventh ahead of their trip to Chelsea.