If anyone had any doubts whether United were back to their old self under new manager Jose Mourinho, then Saturday’s late, late winner by Marcus Rashford should have dispelled them. The Reds may have dominated the game against Mickey Phelan’s side but it wasn’t until after the 90th minute that the visitors were able to make their dominance pay as a piece of brilliance by Wayne Rooney led to tap in for Rashford who reacted quicker than the Hull City defenders.
It was a cruel blow for the home side who’d defended resolutely albeit with a touch of luck for the past hour and a half. Mourinho instantly showed what makes him such a winner, as in the midst of the celebrations he ordered Chris Smalling to get ready to come on to eat up the remaining few seconds left on the clock.
The win put United right at the top of the table and most bookies are now offering favourable online soccer odds on United to be champions.
Hull City 0 United 1 – here’s how the Reds team fared against the Tigers.
David De Gea- Had little or nothing to do all game, the only time Hull looked like scoring they failed to find the target. 6
Antonio Valencia – If United are back to their best then the Ecuadorian is the epitome of that, seems to have found a new lease of life under Jose, although at times his final ball was as frustrating as old but definitely enjoying his best start to a season post-Fergie. 8
Eric Bailly – It’s hard not to love United’s new defender, he’s energetic, aggressive and always looks to get the ball forward. Another stellar display by the 22 year-old. 8
Daily Blind- Chris Smalling may find his return to the first team blocked by his former defensive partner. Read the game superbly against Hull and works well with Bailly – hard to see how or why Mourinho would drop him. 8
Luke Shaw- The idea that United’s season never recovered from the injury to Shaw during the last campaign is being proven right with every marauding run the former Southampton man makes. 8
Marouane Fellaini – He may be the least popular player in the United side- for both sets of fans- but the Belgian has been an integral part of the Reds’ success this season and Saturday was no different. Fellaini made several interceptions and despite the obligatory booking, did well in keeping possession. 7
Paul Pogba- It wasn’t a patch on his debut and there was some wasteful shots but overall United’s prodigal son still showed enough class against Hull to remind everyone why he was such a vital signing this Summer. 7
Juan Mata- Was just beginning to look as though he could unlock the Hull defence when Mourinho decided it was time to introduce Rashford in his place. Busy in the final third but couldn’t quite find that one moment to produce a goal. 6
Anthony Martial- Although it’s hard to tell whether he’s happy or not considering he doesn’t exactly walk around with a smile at the best of times, it’s obvious all is not well for the 20 year-old. Yet to truly find his form of last season, despite glimpses and as seems to be mandatory at the moment was subbed. 6
Wayne Rooney- Twitter nearly went into a meltdown when it was Martial, then Mata’s numbers which were raised rather than the skipper’s but he left a lot of people with egg on their faces as he skipped past Elmohamady to find Rashford for United’s last-gasp winner. 7
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Wasn’t really his day as despite some neat touches and the usual class on the ball, couldn’t quite get on the end of anything to give the Reds the goal their possession merited. 6
Henrik Mkhitaryan – came on for Martial and immediately began making things happen. Some superb runs with the ball unlocked the Hull defence although he may be annoyed he wasn’t able to get his shot off when Rashford laid him on late on. 7
Marcus Rashford- Had yet to figure in the Premier League this season but more than made up for it with a not just the winner, but some superb runs and the usual bag of tricks. The teenager is a defender’s nightmare and although he may have to settle for being an impact sub for the time being, it’s only a matter of time before he’s the Reds’ main striker. 9 MOTM
Chris Smalling- Replaced Rooney at the death. N/A.