in

Wolves 3 Man Utd 4: Mainoo the hero after incredible injury-time winner as Rashford scores on return after tequila party

THERE was no β€˜dentist’s chair’ celebration from striker Marcus Rashford.

And Erik ten Hag, that most sober of Dutchmen, resisted the temptation to ape Paul Merson’s old beer- swigging routine.

Kobbie Mainoo was the hero at Wolves for Man Utd with the winner

15

Kobbie Mainoo was the hero at Wolves for Man Utd with the winnerCredit: Getty

But there was plenty of champagne football from Manchester United β€” a first-choice United for the first time this season β€” as Ten Hag’s decision to start his thirsty England forward turned out to be a masterstroke.

Last Thursday night, Rashford was on the tequila slammers in Belfast, before sending Ten Hag a dodgy sick-note.

This Thursday, it was a different kind of shot for United’s bad-boy, but with equally intoxicating results.

An amazing night saw Rashford open the scoring after just five minutes and then teen star Kobbie Mainoo clinched a dramatic winner after a seven-goal thriller.

The smart-Alec Molineux DJ had been playing tequila-related tunes in the warm-up.

But his attempts at winding up the visitors did not look too clever when Rashford hammered home early on, propelling Ten Hag’s team to their most impressive win of the season against in-form Wolves.

It was a bold selection from Ten Hag, who fancies himself as a disciplinarian, to restore Rashford to the starting line-up after he missed Sunday’s FA Cup win at Newport.

But it was a logical one, given that Rashford had doubled his season’s goals tally with strikes in his previous two league appearances. It was a huge night for both boss and player, as patience had been wearing thin with both among the United faithful.

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring after just five minutes

15

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring after just five minutesCredit: Getty
It was the perfect return for Rashford after his Belfast bender - but there was no cheeky booze-themed celebration

15

It was the perfect return for Rashford after his Belfast bender – but there was no cheeky booze-themed celebrationCredit: Getty

CASINO SPECIAL – BEST CASINO WELCOME OFFERS

It was not just because of Rashford’s booze bender and failure to turn up to work, but also a run of form which had not been a patch on last season’s heroics.

But here he showed considerable strength against self-inflicted adversity and controversy as he fired United towards a mood-altering win before Rasmus Hojlund, Scott McTominay and Mainoo completed the job.

In fairness to Ten Hag, whenever he has been asked about his own future, he has continually answered by saying β€˜wait until everyone is fit’.

And with the possible exception of Mason Mount, here was the Dutchman’s preferred line-up and here was a very different United, as a Wolves side unbeaten in seven matches were skewered.

United are still only seventh, and eight points off the Champions League places, but a continuation of this form might just convince Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Co to stick with their manager.

Rashford had been benched here last season, after missing an alarm call and a team meeting, but Ten Hag hauled his England forward off the naughty step at half-time and saw him score the winner.

This time, the crime was more serious but there was no extended punishment, as Rashford returned to the starting line-up along with keeper Andre Onana, after his fleeting visit to the Afcon with Cameroon.

United’s opener was a gem of a team goal, a square ball from Diogo Dalot, dummied by Bruno Fernandes before Hojlund held off his marker and laid off for Rashford to lash it into the bottom corner.

The England man had barely touched the ball before that but it was an emphatic and assured finish, especially given the background noise.

Rasmus Hojlund got on the scoresheet when he bundled home Luke Shaw's cross

15

Rasmus Hojlund got on the scoresheet when he bundled home Luke Shaw’s crossCredit: Getty
It was Hojlund's first Perm goal to be made by a United player

15

It was Hojlund’s first Perm goal to be made by a United playerCredit: Reuters
Pablo Sarabia pulled one back from the spot

15

Pablo Sarabia pulled one back from the spotCredit: Getty
Sarabia celebrates getting Wolves back into the game

15

Sarabia celebrates getting Wolves back into the gameCredit: Getty

His celebration was a standard knee-slide, followed by handshakes β€” not a patch on Paul Gascoigne’s most famous celebration after a Hong Kong hoo-ha prior to Euro 96.

But this is a different era.

Back in George Best’s heyday, drinking heavily with Irish waitresses was the norm for a United winger.

This is a more po-faced age, if you are an elite footballer.

Wolves then pinned United back for a period without seriously troubling Onana but midway through the second half it was 2-0.

This time Rashford weighted a pass down the left for the overlapping Luke Shaw, whose driven centre deflected off Max Kilman before Hojlund dived in front of Craig Dawson to poke over the line.

Casemiro headed narrowly wide from a Fernandes free-kick, Hojlund charged down an attempted Jose Sa clearance and almost diverted it into the goal and then Fernandes steered a shot narrowly wide.

United were enjoying a purple patch, the like of which they have managed frequently this season without sustaining it for 90 minutes.

Scott McTominay gave United some breathing space

15

Scott McTominay gave United some breathing spaceCredit: AFP
McTominay celebrated his goal which should have put the game to bed

15

McTominay celebrated his goal which should have put the game to bedCredit: Reuters
Max Kilman revived Wolves' hopes, making it 3-2

15

Max Kilman revived Wolves’ hopes, making it 3-2Credit: Getty
Wolves began to believe again after Kilman's strike

15

Wolves began to believe again after Kilman’s strikeCredit: AP

The visitors found the net twice more before half-time β€” but both were ruled out for offside.

First, Hojlund beat Sa from a Rashford pass, then Casemiro headed in from a Fernandes free-kick.

It was as dominant a 45 minutes United had enjoyed all season.

In the second half, Alejandro Garnacho fed Hojlund, only for Sa to charge down his shot.

Wolves were briefly back in it when Casemiro’s boot brushed against Pedro Neto, who went down.

Ref Jarred Gillett pointed to the spot, VAR Paul Tierney refused to overrule him and Pablo Sarabia drilled home.

Rashford then made way for Antony before United restored their two-goal lead, sub McTominay applying a header to a Fernandes corner.

There was late drama for United when Kilman swivelled to poke home and reduce the deficit.

And it looked like United had undone all their good work when Neto fired home a leveller in injury time.

But Mainoo kept his cool and danced through to curl in the winner for his first-ever Prem goal.

Pedro Neto made it 3-3 deep into added time

15

Pedro Neto made it 3-3 deep into added timeCredit: Reuters
Wolves thought they had fought back to nick a draw

15

Wolves thought they had fought back to nick a drawCredit: Getty
But Mainoo scored a dramatic late winner just minutes after

15

But Mainoo scored a dramatic late winner just minutes afterCredit: Reuters
The 18-year-old celebrated his winner on a dramatic night

15

The 18-year-old celebrated his winner on a dramatic nightCredit: Reuters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chelsea transfer news: Deadline Day deal with Premier League rivals

Chelsea icon rips into squad as Pochettino only has ‘one international star’ | Football | Sport