Magic moment: Sergio Romero's Wolves save
In the grand scheme of things, how important can a save made in the 13th minute of an FA Cup third-round tie be?
Had Sergio Romero not flung up an arm to somehow deflect Matt Doherty’s far-post poke away from goal at Molineux in early January, Nuno Espirito Santo’s dangerous side would have taken an early lead in the contest, that’s for sure.
Would Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, defeated twice in the Black Country in the space of 17 days the previous spring and still reeling from a disappointing showing at Arsenal three days before, have been able to react?
A Reds side shorn of the ill Anthony Martial and with Marcus Rashford on the bench would have been up against it in the face of a baying Wolves support.
We’d arguably have been looking at elimination at the earliest hurdle in the cup for the first time since 2014.
As it was, Romero’s intervention laid a platform for a solid and resolute defensive performance, with United taking Wolves back to Old Trafford for a replay and ultimately securing progress.
Tranmere and Derby were then dispatched, setting up a quarter-final with Norwich – now to be played in late June – and a realistic chance of a first piece of silverware under Solskjaer.
That’s why I’m nominating the save, which you can watch above, as the second ‘Magic Moment’ in our new series, as we count down towards the resumption of our season on Friday 19 June.
As we know, Romero never lets United down – the Argentinian has kept 38 clean sheets in 58 games when called upon – and this game was perhaps the finest example of that we've seen in 2019/20.
In a game of few chances, the 33-year-old's stop from Wolves's right-back was enough to earn Romero our Man-of-the-Match award and the instinctive way in which he got down to instantly block Doherty's effort must put him on the podium if a conversation is to be had about the save of the season.
It may not have been singularly one of the most memorable moments of an eventful season for United but it helped lay the foundations for what has – bar a short slump in mid-January – been a promising 2020 so far for the Reds.
We'll have another Magic Moment for you on Wednesday.