Manchester United strengthen top-four hopes with win over Wolverhampton Wanderers

Manchester United returned to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, with Anthony Martial and Alejandro Garnacho scoring in a 2-0 success over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Martial made the breakthrough in the 32nd minute of the contest, before Garnacho netted a second in the 94th minute, with Erik ten Hag‘s side securing a vital three points in their battle to finish in the top four.

The 20-time English champions are now four points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool in the table on the same number of games (35), while they are level on points (66) with third-placed Newcastle United

Wolves, meanwhile, sit 13th in the division on 40 points, with Julen Lopetegui‘s side suffering their 18th league defeat of the 2022-23 campaign.

The Red Devils were without the services of Marcus Rashford due to a leg injury, but Raphael Varane was back in the side following an ankle problem.

Man United started on the front foot at Old Trafford and had a half-chance in the sixth minute through Christian Eriksen, but the experienced midfielder’s effort from distance was always rising over the crossbar.

Wolves had an opening of their own in the eighth minute when a near-post corner caused issues inside the Man United box, and Craig Dawson turned just over the crossbar, before Antony curled wide of debutant Daniel Bentley‘s goal moments later down the other end after a slip from Max Kilman.

Bentley was called into action for the first time in the 27th minute, with the goalkeeper keeping out a free kick from Bruno Fernandes, before Eriksen sent one wide of the post moments later.

Man United had another chance on the 30-minute mark when Luke Shaw‘s excellent cross picked out Antony, but the Brazilian sent his header over the crossbar.

The Red Devils did make the breakthrough in the 32nd minute, though, with Antony racing into the Wolves box before squaring for Martial, who managed to pick out the bottom corner with a calm finish

Bentley had to tip a deflected header from Victor Lindelof over his own crossbar in the 42nd minute, before the Wolves goalkeeper claimed an effort from Varane, as Man United threatened a second before the break

Antony again picked out Martial in first-half stoppage time, but the latter’s effort was saved by Bentley on this occasion, with the two teams separated by just the one goal at the half-time interval.

The first half-chance of the second period came for Wolves, as Kilman met a corner from the right, but the centre-back’s header was always rising over David de Gea‘s crossbar.

The visitors continued to force the issue at Old Trafford, with Hwang Hee-chan missing the post with an effort in the 58th minute, and there were obvious nerves among the home side’s fans inside the stadium.

Antony then had a low strike deflected just wide of the target down the other end of the field, before Bentley made an excellent save to prevent a Fernandes effort from finding the back of the net in the 64th minute.

Bentley made another smart stop to keep out Jadon Sancho in the 73rd minute, with the Englishman looking to pick out the near post after dancing his way into the penalty box.

The Wolves goalkeeper was again called into action in the 82nd minute to keep out a strike from Casemiro, before Wout Weghorst headed the resulting corner over the crossbar.

Fernandes fired just too high in the 87th minute, before the Portugal international missed the crossbar with a free kick in the final minute of normal time at Old Trafford; Antony was then denied by Bentley, who was comfortably the star of the show for Wolves.

Man United finally had their second in the 94th minute, though, with Garnacho – on his return from an ankle injury – brilliantly picking out the back of the net after being released by Fernandes.

Ten Hag’s side will be back in league action away to Bournemouth next Saturday, while Wolves will be bidding to return to winning ways when they host Everton on the same afternoon

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