Marcus Rashford scores for Man Utd

Report: Wolves 0 United 1

Saturday 31 December 2022 14:20

Manchester United signed off from 2022 with three huge points after a battling 1-0 victory over Wolves at Molineux.

Marcus Rashford proved to be the difference for Erik ten Hag’s men, coming off the bench to score following an excellent give-and-go with Bruno Fernandes. 

Our no.10 showed great strength to hold off a clutter of defenders before emphatically drilling the ball into the back of the net on 76 minutes.

The goal secured three important points for the Reds and moved us into the top four at the turn of the year.
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United were on the front foot in the opening stages of the game and came close to a dream start six minutes in. Casemiro got on the end of Christian Eriksen’s whipped corner into the box, but his header was deflected just over. 

The game really started to open up during the first 15 minutes, with both sides enjoying spells of possession at either end of the pitch, but it was the Reds who were gifted a clear-cut chance to score. 

Some wonderful link-up play in the middle of the park saw Eriksen play in Alejandro Garnacho but he couldn’t quite reach the ball ahead of Nelson Semedo. The Wolves defender then sold his goalkeeper short with a backpass that fell at the feet of Garnacho, but the 18-year-old saw his effort smothered by Jose Sa in the opposition goal. 
Sa stepped up for the home side yet again, after Antony’s deflected effort looked to have wrongfooted him but the Portuguese keeper got across quickly to prevent it from going in. 

On the half-hour mark, both sides produced some phenomenal defending. The first of which came from Aaron Wan-Bissaka whose instinctive block prevented Joao Moutinho a certain shot on goal. Minutes later, Nathan Collins was on hand to deny Anthony Martial a clear goalscoring opportunity after his excellent challenge meant the Frenchman couldn’t get on the end of Bruno Fernandes’ sublime pass into the box. 

Antony had an opportunity to put us ahead just before the break, after he latched onto the end of Tyrell Malacia’s cross, but his header was straight at Sa who saved comfortably. The Brazilian winger was involved again on the stroke of half-time, but somehow the ball did not end up in the back of the net as both he and Martial took aim with headers on goal as Sa smothered the ball before the flag went up for offside.
Antony was instrumental for the Reds going forward

The start of the second half saw Ten Hag call upon Rashford from the bench, replacing Alejandro Garnacho down that left-hand side. It was Wolves substitute Adama Traore who had more of an initial impact, though. The winger played two teasing balls into the United box but none of his team-mates were able to get on the end of them. 

Ten minutes in and the Reds seemed to hit their stride with some wonderfully crafted moves to get us up the pitch, but clear-cut chances were few and far between.

Moments after Fernandes saw his free-kick fly over, Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves forced David De Gea into an incredible save with a long-range free-kick that looked destined for the back of the net. But De Gea flew across his goal to palm the effort away brilliantly.

Rashford's emphatic strike was the difference

The Reds finally got the breakthrough 14 minutes from time against a resilient Wolves backline, but it was worth the wait. A give-and-go between Rashford and Fernandes saw our no.10 power into the box and show great strength to hold off defenders before firing the ball home.

And our super-sub thought he had doubled our lead minutes before the end. Wan-Bissaka played a ball into the path of Rashford who took aim and after seeing his shot saved by Sa it bounced in off Marcus but a VAR check ruled it out for coming off his arm.

Raul Jiminez came agonisingly close to stealing a point at the death for the home side from a corner, but De Gea made himself big to deny the Wolves striker a certain goal in what was a frantic final five minutesof injury time.

United held out for another vital victory to ensure a perfect ending to 2022 for the Reds who secured a third straight win since the restart and another clean sheet. Roll on 2023!

A third consecutive clean sheet for the Reds


Wolves: Sa; Semedo (Jonny 65), Collins, Kilman, Bueno (Gomes 72); Moutinho (Ait-Nouri 72), Neves, Nunes; Hwang, Costa (A. Traore 45), Podence (Jiminez 81).

Unused subs: Traore, Sarkic, Guedes, Hodge. 

Booked: Semedo

United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Shaw, Malacia; Casemiro, Eriksen (Fred 62); Antony (Elanga 90+5), Fernandes (Maguire (90+5), Garnacho (Rashford 46); Martial (Van de Beek 81).

Unused subs: Heaton, Lindelof, Williams, Mainoo. 

Goal: Rashford 76.

Booked: Casemiro, Fred, Rashford.

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