Wolves 0-1 Man Utd: Marcus Rashford comes off bench to score winner


Marcus Rashford scores against Wolves
Rashford’s goal was his 12th in the Premier League as a substitute

Marcus Rashford turned from villain to hero as he came off the bench to score the only goal against Wolves and move Manchester United into the Premier League top four.

Manager Erik ten Hag left Rashford out of his starting line-up for “internal disciplinary” reasons.

But after a disappointing opening period, in which Rashford’s replacement Alejandro Garnacho wasted the visitors’ best chance when his shot was saved by Jose Sa, the England man scored 14 minutes from time.

Rashford picked the ball up outside the Wolves area, then, after exchanging passes with Bruno Fernandes, held off three defenders before driving home his 11th goal of the season in all competitions.

It was the first time he had scored in three successive games for United since December 2019.

The result ended Julen Lopetegui’s two-match winning start as Wolves manager and kept them in the relegation zone.

However, they came so close to snatching a point in stoppage time when Raul Jimenez’s goal-bound header was turned away at point-blank range by David de Gea.

The availability of loan signing Matheus Cunha for Wednesday’s West Midlands derby at Aston Villa cannot come soon enough for a side who struggle so badly to turn impressive approach play into goals.

Lopetegui said: “The way they fought a big team like Man Utd, in the end I thought we deserved more.”

Ten Hag in charge

Ten Hag proved with his treatment of Cristiano Ronaldo that reputation would not get in the way of reinforcing team discipline.

Rashford’s indiscretion – missing a team meeting after oversleeping – was not on the same scale, but given Garnacho was stopped from playing during the club’s pre-season tour because of persistent lateness, Ten Hag would view his actions as confirmation the same rules apply to all players, no matter what their status.

As it turned out, Garnacho produced a decent first-half display but, with United failing to make the most of limited opportunities, Rashford replaced the 18-year-old at half-time.

Ten Hag has made it clear he wants striking reinforcements this month. In their absence, Rashford remains United’s most potent goal threat.

The determination he showed to drive through so many defenders and score his latest effort indicates a hunger that was absent for much of last season.

Rashford thought he had a second near the end but his close-range effort – after Sa saved his initial shot – was ruled out for handball.

The win moved United into the top four – the first time they have been in the Champions League qualification places this season.

Ten Hag said: “We made a good step today – first time we are in top four but it means nothing.

“We have to win every game. We want to try and win something. It depends on hard work from everyone.”

Lopetegui must find answer to scoring woes

In his first home league game in charge of Wolves, Lopetegui was a demonstrative presence on the edge of his technical area.

If not quite as manic as Tottenham manager Antonio Conte, the former Sevilla boss was open with his feelings.

That included demanding a yellow card for Casemiro when he blocked Ruben Neves off during the first half, then letting the fourth official know it should have been two as referee Rob Jones finally showed a yellow card to the Brazilian when he fouled Daniel Podence.

Once he calms down from such injustices, Lopetegui will know – as he always has – the answer to Wolves’ problems comes through finding the net.

Lopetegui said: “We have to improve. I believe in my players. But it is not about one or two players. It is a team task. If we have more chances, we may score more.”

Diego Costa worked hard for little reward before the break and, until Jimenez was introduced once the Spaniard was replaced, there was no focal point for the Wolves midfield to play to.

Neves almost pulled one of his wonder strikes out of his repertoire to put the hosts in front, but De Gea was equal to that, just as he was when Jimenez’s stoppage-time effort was heading into the net.

Player of the match

RashfordMarcus Rashford

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  1. Squad number8Player nameRúben Neves

  2. Squad number1Player nameJosé Sá

  3. Squad number37Player nameTraoré

  4. Squad number4Player nameCollins

  5. Squad number27Player nameMatheus Nunes

  6. Squad number23Player nameKilman

  7. Squad number28Player nameJoão Moutinho

  8. Squad number10Player nameDaniel Podence

  9. Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo

  10. Squad number64Player nameBueno

  11. Squad number3Player nameAït-Nouri

  12. Squad number9Player nameJiménez

  13. Squad number11Player nameHwang Hee-chan

  14. Squad number29Player nameDiego Costa

  15. Squad number24Player nameToti

  16. Squad number19Player nameJonny

Line-ups

Wolves

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1
  • 22Nélson SemedoBooked at 26minsSubstituted forCastro Ottoat 65′minutes
  • 4Collins
  • 23Kilman
  • 64BuenoSubstituted forGomesat 73′minutes
  • 8Neves
  • 27Nunes
  • 11Hwang Hee-chan
  • 28João MoutinhoSubstituted forAït-Nouriat 72′minutes
  • 10PodenceSubstituted forJiménezat 81′minutes
  • 29Diego CostaSubstituted forTraoréat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Aït-Nouri
  • 6Traoré
  • 9Jiménez
  • 13Sarkic
  • 17Gonçalo Guedes
  • 19Castro Otto
  • 24Gomes
  • 37Traoré
  • 59Hodge

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 19Varane
  • 23Shaw
  • 12Malacia
  • 14EriksenSubstituted forFredat 61′minutesBooked at 72mins
  • 18CasemiroBooked at 57mins
  • 21AntonySubstituted forElangaat 90+3′minutes
  • 8Bruno FernandesSubstituted forMaguireat 90+3′minutes
  • 49GarnachoSubstituted forRashfordat 45′minutesBooked at 88mins
  • 9MartialSubstituted forvan de Beekat 81′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Lindelöf
  • 5Maguire
  • 10Rashford
  • 17Fred
  • 22Heaton
  • 33Williams
  • 34van de Beek
  • 36Elanga
  • 73Mainoo

Referee:
Robert Jones

Attendance:
31,658

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