Premier League

Player ratings as Mainoo stunner settles seven-goal blockbuster

Player ratings as Mainoo stunner settles seven-goal blockbuster

Manchester United needed a 97th-minute winner from 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo to secure a sensational 4-3 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the game of the Premier League season on Thursday night.

Erik ten Hag’s side flew into an impressive lead at Molineux as goals from Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund put a disjointed Wolves to the sword in the first half.

However, the Old Gold stormed back into the match in the second half thanks to strikes from Pablo Sarabia, Max Kilman and Pedro Neto, with Scott McTominay also heading home in between.

But there was one more twist at Molineux in a truly chaotic clash, Mainoo popping up late on with a wonderful strike to give Man Utd a vital three points.

How the game unfolded

After a nervy but ultimately successful FA Cup fourth round clash with League Two Newport County last time out, Man Utd turned their attention back to Premier League matters with a trip to Molineux. The Red Devils had won their last three against Wolves without conceding, but the Old Gold came into the match unbeaten at home in their last nine matches.

However, Gary O’Neil’s side fell behind early on to endanger their impressive streak without a Molineux defeat, and it was naturally Rashford who put the visitors in front. After the recent controversy surrounding the attacker, he fired Man Utd ahead with five minutes played on his return to the team, beautifully caressing Hojlund’s lay-off into the far corner from the edge of the area.

Just as Wolves were starting to find their feet, Man Utd delivered a sucker punch at the other end to double their lead. Rashford found Luke Shaw on the overlap, with the left-back rattling a cross to the near post and the ball fortuitously ricocheting off Hojlund on its way past Jose Sa.

Casemiro missed a golden opportunity just moments later as he headed wide from a clever free kick with the goal gaping, while Matt Doherty’s short back pass was charged down by goalscorer Hojlund, with Sa’s clearance striking the Dane and flashing just wide.

Man Utd continued to pepper the Wolves goal before the break, Raphael Varane hammering a volley over the crossbar as the hosts were repeatedly cut open. Both Hojlund and Casemiro found the back of the net heading into half-time, but their efforts were rightly ruled out for offside.

The action didn’t let up after the restart, Bruno Fernandes failing to convert inside the box at one end and Lisandro Martinez clearing off the line at the other after some iffy Andre Onana…

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