Solskjaer channels Sir Alex Ferguson as Marcus Rashford fires Man Utd to second

Appropriately enough, with Sir Alex Ferguson watching on, Manchester United plundered a late winner in ‘Fergie time’.

Throughout his glittering time in charge, Fergie’s teams had a knack of scoring dramatic late winners, a trait Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are carrying on.

Rashford’s 93rd-minute goal, his 14 of the season, moved United up to second in the table, just two points behind leaders and arch rivals Liverpool.

With Ferguson turning 79 tomorrow, Rashford’s goal was something of an early birthday present for the former United boss, who braved the freezing conditions to watch his former side.

In truth, United did not do enough in 90 minutes to merit the win, with Wolves nullifying their attack and playing with greater enterprise than their hosts.

Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring a late winner for Man United

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But never knowing when they are beaten is part of United’s DNA, and they once again displayed that formidable trait to end 2020 in second place, poised for an unlikely title push in 2021.

Yet for much of the game, United were second best, their subdued display a surprise given on their last outing at Old Trafford they put six past Leeds, with Solskjaer claiming they could have scored 12.

It was the visitors who had the first sight on goal, Adama Traore slaloming his way past several opponents before feeding the ball to Pedro Neto, whose tame shot went straight at David De Gea.

United invited trouble three minutes later, when Paul Pogba lost possession cheaply to Traore, who in turn found Vitinha, whose shot was again easy for De Gea to handle.

A third effort on the United goal came in quick succession for Wolves, Eric Bailly dithering and allowing Traore to cause more problems, his ball finding Ruben Neves, whose effort was punched away by De Gea.

It amounted to an unconvincing start from the hosts, who allowed their opponents to dictate the rhythm of the game early on and create the best chances, Solskjaer swiftly down from the dugout to the technical area to address his side’s shortcomings.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils left it late against Wolves

Midway through the first-half, United conceded a free-kick from which Neves found Roman Saiss, whose looping header had De Gea worried but bounced off the bar and behind to safety.

When United did get sight of the Wolves goal, they were unable to make it count, Edinson Cavani glancing a header wide, then Bruno Fernandes denied at point-blank range by Rui Patricio after a fine cross from Greenwood.

United continued to live dangerously at the other end, De Gea showing impressive reactions to instinctively block a volleyed effort from Saiss, from an inswinging free-kick delivery from Neto.

Chances were few and far between after the break, as the cagey nature of the contest continued, both sides probing, without ever really looking like breaking the deadlock.

Rashford sent a looping header over, while Wolves produced some slick build-up play which saw them advance into some promising positions.

Sir Alex Ferguson watched the action from the stands

But once there, they missed the predatory and physical presence of their main goal threat, star striker Raul Jimenez, still sidelined after suffering a fractured skull last month.

Cavani had the ball in the net with 20 minutes to go but was ruled offside, while De Gea’s heroics continued late on, with a fine save from Rayan Ait-Nouri.

But the game was decided in the third minute of added time, Bruno Fernandes finding Rashford with an exquisite long ball.

Rashford was surrounded by five Wolves players but was undaunted, turning back on to his left foot before unleashing a shot which deflected off Saiss and into the net, for the last-gasp win.

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