Things we noticed at Molineux

Saturday 31 December 2022 16:06

Marcus Rashford’s late strike was enough to give United an excellent 1-0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, making it three wins in a row since the restart for Erik ten Hag's men.

The Reds had to battle for the victory though with David De Gea making a couple of top-class saves, before Rashford stepped up to beat Jose Sa to clinch the victory.

Those were some of the vital moments during a frantic 90 minutes, but what else stood out during our New Year's Eve clash?

Read on to find out…

Report: Wolves 0 United 1


Manchester United earn a hard-fought win away from home in our final fixture of 2022.

Moving tribute to Pele

After the extremely sad passing of football icon Pele on Thursday night, both teams stood in the centre-circle before kick-off as Molineux rose as one to pay their respects to the three-time World Cup-winner. A minute's applause provided a moving tribute to the Brazilian legend, with United winger Anthony donning a t-shirt with 'rest in peace Pele' inscribed on it in Portuguese. It was a lovely moment pre-match for a true great of the game.



Fans in full voice

Both sets of fans made it a cauldron of noise throughout the 90 minutes with the travelling Reds ending the day (and the year) the happier of the two. The United faithful were stationed in the bottom end of the Steve Bull Stand and they sung their side through to the finish, with countless renditions of “12 Cantona’s” and “We’re Man United And We're Never Gonna Stop” inspiring the team to victory. Meanwhile, the home fans were in decent voice, with the sounds of “High-Ho, Wolverhampton” heard from all ends of Molineux, but ultimately it was United supporters who were singing loudest come full-time.

Shaw and steady wins the race

Before Tuesday's match against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford there were a few eyebrows raised when Erik ten Hag confirmed Luke Shaw would take up a centre-back role alongside Raphael Varane, but our no.23 acquitted himself with aplomb and that was again the case on Saturday when the pair secured another clean sheet. And it's fair to say Shaw has made a brilliant impression in his temporary new position. Alongside Varane, he kept Wolves forward’s Hwang Hee-Chan, Diego Costa and Adama Traore quiet all afternoon and his distribution from the back was exceptional. He even went close to scoring midway through the second half.

Ten Hag: Be ready, be bright, be decisive Video

Ten Hag: Be ready, be bright, be decisive

Erik spells out his message to the players, as he reacts to the Reds' hard-fought win over Wolves...

The resurgence of AWB

It was another impressive performance from Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the back of two excellent displays - and clean sheets - against Burnley and Nottingham Forest. The right-back was up and down the flank providing support for Antony, as well as making some crucial challenges, including denying Wolves striker Diego Costa a clear chance to score in the first half. The United fans applauded every challenge he put in and he's certainly begun the season restart brilliantly after working hard to earn a place in the side.

Rashford does again

Marcus Rashford came off the bench to net his third goal in as many games and fire a vital winner for the Reds. The day had begun with Erik ten Hag confirming that our no.10 wasn't starting the game due to an "internal disciplinary" and Rashford later revealed he had been late for a team meeting after oversleeping. All was forgotten and forgiven come full-time as Rashford provided the perfect response with a superbly worked goal - with Bruno Fernandes - to seal three points for United and move us into the top four at the turn of the year. And the England international was unlucky to be denied a second when VAR ruled the ball had bounced in off his arm after it ricocheted onto him as Jose Sa saved his initial effort. Rashford may have missed the first half, but he more than made up for it in the second.