Kobbie Mainoo emerged as the hero in Manchester United's thrilling 4-3 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, arguably the standout game of the Premier League season on Thursday. Initially, the Red Devils appeared poised for an away win at Molineaux as Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund found the net in the first half. Rashford, particularly, showcased resilience by delivering a stunning finish in the fifth minute despite his off-the-field challenges.
Hojlund extended Manchester United's lead deservedly in the 22nd minute, capitalizing on Luke Shaw's well-placed pass. Despite pressure from Wolves' goalkeeper Jose Sa, the Dane managed to bundle the ball into the net. Regardless of numerous chances, the Red Devils failed to further widen the gap. Hojlund thought he had scored in the 45th minute, only to have his celebrations halted by an offside call.
Casemiro appeared to secure United's third goal shortly after with a header from Bruno Fernandes' precise delivery. However, the goal was disallowed due to offside, leaving Erik ten Hag's side with a 2-0 advantage at halftime. Wolves showed improvement after the break, with Lisandro Martinez making a crucial goal-line clearance in the 49th minute. Despite a scare involving Diogo Dalot's deflection, Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana managed to keep the ball out of the net six minutes later.
Mainoo produced a moment of brilliance to seal a win for Red Devils
Later on, Wolves were given an opportunity to get back in the game in the 68th minute when referee Robert Jones awarded a penalty. Casemiro was penalized for a challenge on Pedro Neto, although the decision was highly debatable. Regardless, Pablo Sarabia calmly converted the spot-kick, igniting the Molineux crowd's hopes of a comeback. However, it was Manchester United who would soon regain control. Scott McTominay, who had just come off the bench two minutes earlier, seemingly put the game beyond doubt in the 75th minute. A cross from Fernandes found McTominay, whose unconventional header found the back of the net.
Wolves kept the game alive as it entered its final stages, ensuring a tense finish for United. Max Kilman capitalized on Craig Dawson's flick-on and beat Onana in the 85th minute. Gary O'Neil's side seemed to have completed a remarkable comeback when Neto scored in the 90+5th minute. However, just as it appeared United would drop points, Mainoo produced a moment of brilliance in the 90+7th minute. Substitute Omari Forson found Mainoo with a precise pass on the left. The young English midfielder skillfully evaded three Wolves defenders, including a nutmeg, before curling a superb shot past Sa.
The victory was well-deserved for Manchester United, particularly for Mainoo, who has had a breakthrough season at Old Trafford. His first league goal was a memorable one, showcasing his talent and composure under pressure.