Man United defeated Wolves 1-0 in their final Premier League match of 2022, and there was plenty of action off the field as well.
Manchester United defeated Wolves 1-0 in their final Premier League match of the season on Saturday afternoon, capping off 2022 in style.
Marcus Rashford, who was named to the bench for “disciplinary reasons,” scored United’s first goal after coming on as a half-time substitute. Later, the forward admitted that he “overslept” and arrived late for a team meeting, prompting Ten Hag to remove him from the starting lineup.
United had several chances to take the lead in the first half but were unable to do so. Both Antony and Alejandro Garnacho squandered excellent scoring chances. Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa was tested numerous times as the Reds pushed for a win in the first 45 minutes.
But Rashford powered through the Wolves defense, showing his strength to muscle off multiple defenders and fire the ball past Sa from close range 15 minutes from time to send United into the Champions League places for the first time since March.
The goal was undoubtedly the highlight of the game, but there were five other moments that fans may have overlooked.
Ten Hag couldn’t hide his emotion after Rashford goal
During his brief tenure at the club, the former Ajax man has demonstrated that he is not afraid to lay down the law. Despite his strict approach to discipline, it is clear that he prioritizes the club with every action he takes.
His reaction when Rashford’s strike found the back of the net demonstrated how much he cares. The 52-year-old skipped down the touchline, fists pumping, as his team finally broke through a stubborn Wolves defense.
Harry Maguire handed the captain’s armband
With just minutes remaining, a Wolves corner prompted Ten Hag to take defensive action, sending Maguire on to assist with his aerial presence. In the absence of the England international, Bruno Fernandes had been named captain once more.
Nonetheless, Fernandes acknowledged the club’s hierarchy by removing the armband and handing it to Maguire on his way off the field. The former Leicester City player may not be in Ten Hag’s first-team plans, but that hasn’t stopped the midfielder from expressing his admiration for his captain.
Bruno Fernandes shows his class
Despite the fɑct that Maguire is technically the club captain, the 28-year-old has all but assumed a key leadership role under Ten Hag. The desire to win was evident once more, but Fernandes was able to set aside the on-pitch rivalry for a moment of class in the second half.
Daniel Podence, a fellow countryman, was injured in the 51st minute and required treatment from the club physios. Fernandes came over to check on the Wolves star shortly after the medical staff began tending to him.
In a classy moment away from the action, the United man was on his haunches and offering words of comfort to the winger.
Rashford frustrated with Donny van de Beek
Van de Beek entered the game in the second half and had several chances to set Rashford free in behind the Wolves defense.
On several occasions, the former Ajax midfielder failed to find the right pass, most notably in the 92nd minute, when Rashford would have been one-on-one with Sa if Van de Beek had played the right ball. The forward couldn’t hide his frustration as he threw his arms out and cast an exasperated figure on the halfway line in the heat of the moment.
Dug-out celebrations show importance of win
As the minutes ticked away, Wolves looked to pile on the pressure. David de Gea was called upon to deny Raul Jimenez what appeared to be a certain goal, as the Spaniard denied the Mexican from point-blank range to keep the score at 1-0.
A resulting corner saw Aaron Wan-Bissaka win a foul on the edge of the box, prompting Victor Lindelof and Fernandes to celebrate wildly, knowing that foul had effectively ended the game. Ten Hag has certainly brought a sense of unity to the squad, which was evident at Molineux.