Manchester United needed a 93rd minute goal to grab a 1-0 win against Hull. The effort, from Marcus Rashford, was created by a great play from Rooney, who struggled to assert himself throughout the match. It was a happy time for United, a dramatic affair, and a classic, Fergie time win for the Red Devils, who were happily booed off the pitch at the end. The match started interestingly, with a period of possession ending with a Paul Pogba long-range effort that he miscued in the third minute. Hull’s following possession ended in a foul from Marouane Fellaini, which gave Hull a free-kick in the sixth minute. Luckily, Robert Snodgrass’ free-kick hit the wall and Tom Huddlestone’s follow-up from range was also wide.
In the 10th minute, Anthony Martial cut in from the left-wing and swung a cross for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede, as prolific as he is in the air, could not get it down enough to score, and it skimmed over the bar. The next action came six minutes later when Antonio Valencia won a corner for United, but that was the end of the play. Fellaini was caught out of position in the 24th minute and gifted Snodgrass another free kick. Picking up a yellow card, Fellaini paid a price for his foul, as Snodgrass’ effort was close. Shortly after, a wonderful ball from Tom Huddlestone set Andrew Robertson free. Luke Shaw made a mercurial clearance to prevent Snodgrass from heading home from Robertson’s cross. The clearance was so close to the net that, in diving for the header, Snodgrass flung himself into the goalpost and needed treatment.
In the 33rd minute, a standard forward ball from Rooney found Juan Mata, who won a free kick. His effort was on target but saved by Eldin Jakupovic. I was surprised Ibrahimovic didn’t take it after his good effort against Bournemouth, but Mata did a better job than most of United’s set-piece takers last season. A dancing effort from Juan Mata saw his shot from inside the box saved. Rooney missed the 37th minute rebound. A ball from Ibrahimovic soon after put Rooney through on the right, but the Englishman’s cross couldn’t find Martial. To be fair, it wasn’t Rooney’s fault.
Pogba did well to win Rooney a free kick, and Rooney’s subsequent effort was good. Ibrahimovic managed to get on the end of it, but his resulting turn and backheel flick was in the side-netting. Zlatan thought he’d scored. Before the end of the half, Hernandez was put through after catching Bailly out of position, but Blind did phenomenally to close the angle as Hernandez’s shot went straight into De Gea. The second half started with a bang, as Snodgrass’ earlier injury came back to haunt him. Hull’s threadbare squad became even weaker, as Shaun Maloney entered the pitch. Maloney, having scored from the bench against Swansea in Hull’s previous match, was not the worst substitution possible. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford were spotted warming up.
Martial’s last contribution to the game was a shot in the 60th minute before Mkhitaryan entered. Martial was ultimately ineffective, but Rooney should’ve made way, not the Frenchman. Mkhitaryan’s contribution to the match began in the 62nd minute, where he flicked a ball for Mata to chest down to Ibrahimovic. Zlatan’s volley was deflected out for a corner, and Rooney’s delivery was abhorrent. A wonderful ball into Ibrahimovic from Pogba in the 64th minute allowed Zlatan to execute a back heel flick to Mata, who did well to control it, but was offside. Soon after, a long-range effort from Pogba almost troubled the keeper- just wide. Hull City continued to retreat deeper and deeper.
Mata made way for Marcus Rashford after an ineffective but tidy performance. I don’t know how Rooney stayed on the pitch. Mkhitaryan did well to win a free-kick, but Ibrahimovic’s effort was well blocked. Soon after, a Valencia cross was a handball in the penalty area, but the ignorance to the incident was phenomenal. Rooney was offered a vintage volley chance at the top of the box in the 74th, but he missed it. Hull had a chance in the 75th in the aftermath of a clear penalty shout, as Huddlestone’s long-range effort deflected off Eric Bailly and went nervously wide. United won another free kick at the edge of the box, once again from Mkhitaryan’s dazzling running. Pogba’s resulting free kick was wide.
Rashford’s entry was marked in the 79th minute when Rashford beat three men and lashed a curling effort. The shot was just saved by Jakupovic and went out for a corner, which was diabolical from Rooney. Pogba crossed the ball in the 80th minute, and Davies almost deflected the ball into his own goal before Jake Livermore cleared it. A marauding run from Shaw in the 82nd minute found Rashford, who squared across for Mkhitaryan to strike- it was blocked. Valencia’s subsequent cross was deflected into Jakupovic, again by a Hull player, but Jakupovic cleared for a corner. Here we have our theme of the day: Rooney’s corner was shambolic, though he won another corner, which was also terrible.
Rashford put a ridiculously dangerous cross in the 86th minute. No one was there, and Ibrahimovic was visibly disappointed in himself. Fellaini’s following long-ball (sounds strange) to Ibrahimovic allowed the Swede to win a corner, which was taken, once again, poorly by Rooney. Pogba had a long-range effort in the 88th minute after some top class playmaking from Rashford, but it was just wide. Pogba thought he’d scored. Mkhitaryan struck a long-range effort not long after, but it also deflected and was safe for Jakupovic. Hull’s counter-attack in the 92nd minute allowed David Meyler to fire just over.
The dramatic end came in the 93rd minute when a wonderful play from Rooney put Rashford through to score the winner. It was a thrilling moment for everyone to end the match, and needed for Rooney, who had a poor game. Jose Mourinho celebrated that like a champion. I’m just going to leave it there. United deserved the points, Sam Allardyce is crying at his squad selections and Manchester United is back.
Goals: Marcus Rashford 90+2′
Assists: Wayne Rooney 90+2′
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw; Fellaini, Pogba; Mata (Rashford 71′), Rooney (Smalling 90+4′), Martial (Mkhitaryan 60′); Ibrahimovic
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Young, Herrera, Schneiderlin
Bookings: Marouane Fellaini 23′, Wayne Rooney 76′, Marcus Rashford 90+3′