Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the game to help Manchester United produce one of the narrow football scores of the weekend in the Premier League. England’s striker scored a low goal late in the game to give Erik ten Hag’s team a 1-0 win and move them over Tottenham into the top four. Wolves, who were playing in their first home Premier League game under Julen Lopetegui, played admirably the entire time and looked poised to frustrate United until Rashford’s intervention. Following the disallowed second goal by the England forward for handball, David de Gea had to make a fantastic save from Raul Jimenez in stoppage time to preserve the victory.
United entered Molineux having won seven of their previous eight games overall, with the chance to come within one point of third-place Newcastle with a victory. Given that they have scored in each of their last 10 games and Wolves have a porous defence, Ten Hag would have predicted goals. But it proved difficult. United had the better chances in the first half, but Rashford’s replacement had the finest chance after Casemiro’s early header was deflected over the bar. Alejandro Garnacho successfully intercepted Nelson Semedo’s back pass, but Jose Sa was too strong for him to overcome.
The Wolves goalkeeper made a fantastic save to stop Antony in the last seconds of the first half by clearing the ball off the line. The tenacious Diego Costa’s feeble shot was the closest Wolves came during the opening 45 minutes. Wolves attempted to test De Gea at the opposite end but were unsuccessful. The encounter heated up in the second half after the introductions of Rashford and the vivacious Adama Traore. The Wolves winger initially made a bigger impact, and De Gea made a spectacular save off a long-range free kick from Ruben Neves.
Rashford, however, scored the winning goal as Wolves switched to a more conservative approach and defended their home field. After collecting a clever pass from Bruno Fernandes, who then forced the ball low into the goal, he was able to elude Jonny Otto, Nathan Collins, and Toti Gomes. Since returning from the World Cup, he has scored three goals in as many games. His attempt to score a fourth nearly went in when it ricocheted off Sa and into the net, but it was called out for handball. The Wolves had hope as a result, and they nearly scored.
Up until their sudden-death triumph against Everton on Boxing Day, their only victories this season had come at home against the only two teams in the Premier League standings above them. They didn’t have much prospect of surprising a Manchester United club that was in good form. But they almost got a point when Jimenez, who had been substituted, headed ferociously towards the goal from Rayan Ait’s corner on the left wing. De Gea saved it, and in a close game, the score was decided by the player who had received a warning from his manager.
“Everyone must adhere to the requirements and guidelines. There must be repercussions. I also anticipate something in the pitch because without it, you cannot succeed. He responded appropriately,” Marcus Rashford said. “That is the only way it can be. Because we attack with 11 players and defend with 11, we are a team that is difficult to defeat. That is the result of everyone abiding by the rules. It spills onto the field if you stop doing it and stop abiding by the rules.”
“Let’s discuss what is ahead. We have made progress. Its first appearance in the top four. However, there is still a way to go. To put ourselves in a situation where we can win something, we must win every game. That is the goal that we are pursuing. It necessitates everyone’s diligent effort,” Erik ten Hag said.
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