Kobbie the Mainoo for Manchester United in seven-goal Wolves thriller

Manchester United's Kobbie Mainoo celebrates scoring the winner against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Picture: Bradley Collyer / PA Wire via Backpagepix

Manchester United's Kobbie Mainoo celebrates scoring the winner against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Picture: Bradley Collyer / PA Wire via Backpagepix

Published Feb 2, 2024


Kobbie Mainoo scored a 97th-minute winner as Manchester United snatched a dramatic 4-3 win at Wolves on Thursday after blowing a two-goal lead.

Marcus Rashford's goalscoring return, days after being fined for missing training after a night out, looked set to grab the headlines as United raced into a 2-0 lead.

Scott McTominay restored the visitors' two-goal cushion after Pablo Sarabia's penalty got Wolves back in the game.

But the home side looked to have claimed a point when Max Kilman and Pedro Neto struck late on.

However, 18-year-old Mainoo provided one final twist with a brilliant solo run and shot in the latest display of his potential as a rising star.

"He's making incredible progress. He has great abilities," said United manager Erik ten Hag.

"He is the modern midfield player, he can attack and defend. He has the intelligence to do both and the physicality."

Marcus Rashford missed United's 4-2 FA Cup win at Newport County on Sunday after he spent two nights out in a Belfast nightclub last week.

Ten Hag insisted before kick-off that it was "case closed" after the matter was dealt with internally.

Rashford was reportedly fined £650 000 - the equivalent of two weeks' wages.

But the England international made an instant impact on his return, giving the visitors a perfect start after five minutes with a fine finish from outside the box.

Rasmus Hojlund then bundled in his third goal in four Premier League games from Luke Shaw's cross as Ten Hag's men produced arguably their best 45 minutes of the season before half-time.

The Dutch coach has put his side's poor form this season down to an injury crisis and the Red Devils were much improved with Shaw, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro all back in the side for the first time in months.

Wolves have beaten Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea at home this season and looked to have been gifted a route back into the game in the second half.

Casemiro, who was starting his first Premier League game since October, was penalised for a foul on Neto and Sarabia converted the spot-kick.

McTominay then replaced Casemiro and scored with his first touch. The Scotland international headed in a Bruno Fernandes corner.

Kilman pulled another goal back for Wolves from a corner and Neto seemed to have completed the comeback in the 95th minute by firing inside Andre Onana's near post.

Mainoo, though, produced a moment of magic to secure United's first away league win since November.

Ten Hag's men can move into the top six on Sunday when they host West Ham after the Hammers were held 1-1 at home to Bournemouth.

"It is massive for us to win. This match had a lot of sides," added Ten Hag.

"We played very good and dictated the game for an hour. We should have made it 4-0, we didn't and the end it is quite naive in how we conceded goals. We then showed resilience, especially Kobbie Mainoo."

Hammers held

Kalvin Phillips' loan spell at the London Stadium got off to a disastrous start.

The England international was making his first appearance since joining from Manchester City but gifted the Cherries the opening goal after just three minutes.

Dominic Solanke pounced on Phillips' short backpass to slot in his 15th goal of the season.

Alphonse Areola kept the Hammers in the game with a brilliant save to deny Antoine Semenyo a second.

A run of three consecutive draws has hampered West Ham's push for European football next season, but they did at least salvage a point in the second half.

Mohammed Kudus, on his return from the Africa Cup of Nations, was hauled down inside the area by Lloyd Kelly and James Ward-Prowse converted from the penalty spot.

West Ham remain in sixth, seven points adrift of the top four, and now just one clear of United.