Manchester United have broken into the top four after victory over Wolves in the Premiership.
Alejandro Garnacho, who was coming in for the disciplined Marcus Rashford, gave a free kick away in the opening two minutes in a threatening area for Wolves but luckily it didn’t come to anything.
There was a corner for United and Casemiro had a free header as the defenders didn’t pick up his run but it was deflected over the bar. It was clear to see that the Reds had been working on their set-piece routine.
Wolves made some good runs but United’s defence looked tight and put some good blocks in to deny them crossing into the danger zone.
Garnacho had a golden opportunity to put United in front in the fifteenth minute, a short pass back to his keeper from Semedo allowed Garnacho to find himself one on one with the keeper. He should have done better but his shot was well saved by Sa.
At the other end and Wolves found themselves in a fantastic position inside the box but Wan-Bissaka put in a brilliant block to deny the hosts the opening goal.
They were trying to get the ball to Costa, United needed to cut out that channel.
It was end to end football in the first half as Martial found himself in a good position as Fernandes played the ball into the box but he couldn’t get his feet around it and find the target.
Moments later and Podence had a shot on the half volley but it was Varane with the block this time. It felt like the first goal could go either way.
The game was becoming more physical with Casemiro and Fernandes having a stern talking to by the ref.
In the final touch of the first half, Antony should have scored as he dived at the back post to try and head home Garnacho’s cross but Sa got a hand to it to keep it from crossing the line.
Rashford was forgiven at half time as he came on for Garnacho and he instantly showed why as he made a fantastic run, dancing through the Wolves players but unfortunately it amounted to nothing.
Wolves continued well though, putting in a couple of good crosses into the box but they were headed away by United’s defence.
At the other end, Antony had a great chance to break the deadlock but it was blocked by the Wolves defence. Rashford had boosted the energy levels, there was no doubt about that and many of their early chances were generated by him.
Casemiro found himself in the book as he brought down Podence. The resulting free kick from around 25 yards out was delivered with power by Neves and was on target but De Gea pulled off a magnificent save to deny Wolves.
Antony found himself in space down the right but his cross was blocked again. He kept finding himself in the right places but couldn’t deliver the correct ball into his teammates.
Shaw had a chance from a well worked corner but Semedo did just enough to prevent him from finding the target.
It was the rebel, Marcus Rashford, who made the breakthrough for the Reds. He began the move and had a little one-two with Fernandes as he danced into the box and was strong against two defenders as he slotted it through the gap, just inside the near post.
United just had to hold on now but Wolves were desperate to take something from this game.
Rashford thought he’d got a second as again he wiggled his way through the defence and got his shot off, it was saved by the keeper and rebounded off him into the back of the net but VAR chalked it off as it was deemed to have come off the Mancunian’s hand.
Wolves had the momentum after that let off and they launched an attack, luckily the Reds defended strongly.
At the other end United found themselves three against two with Van de Beek leading the attack through the middle. He played it to his left to Fernandes whose shot was straight at the keeper.
United won it back, Van de Beek making the tackle in the area but his next pass was cut out by Wolves and gave them a chance to counter.
Deep into injury time and Wolves were piling on the pressure with a series of corners. Jimenez had a brilliant chance to equalise but De Gea’s reaction was quick as lightning as he got his hands up to punch it away.
United had done it, they had crept into fourth thanks to Rashford’s second half goal.
Team: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Shaw, Malacia, Eriksen (Fred 61), Casemiro, Antony (Elanga 93), Fernandes (Maguire 93), Garnacho (Rashford 45), Martial (Van de Beek 81)