Park Ji-Sung rescues below par Man United against Wolves
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was left reeling after his side conceded in the 93rd minute to give Manchester United three points at Old Trafford.
The visitors largely limited the offensive trio of Javier HernÃƒÂ¡ndez, Gabriel Obertan and substitute Bebe to half-chances. Wolves skipper Karl Henry epitomised his side’s tenacious attitude with his tireless work rate helping to nullify United’s attacking threat.
Park Ji-Sung opened the scoring for the home side just before the break only for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to equalise mid-way through the second half.
But deep into stoppage time Darren Fletcher capitalised on Steven Fletcher’s loose ball and sprayed a pass out to Park on the right side of midfield. The South Korean went on a slalom infield before beating Wolves goalkeeper Marcus Hanemman at his near post.
An exasperated McCarthy turned away in disgust after his side surrendered what was looking to be a hard-fought point.
In truth United were off colour from the very start. Owen Hargreaves made his first competitive start in over two years but only lasted a matter of minutes before limping off with injury. The Old Trafford crowd, perhaps disheartened by Hargreaves’ personal heartache or concerned by the lack of thrust up front with the absence of Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney, were largely muted.
Park’s opener was the first clear-cut opportunity of the match. Henry, who was influential throughout, failed to track the former PSV Eindhoven midfielder and Fletcher’s superb pass provided Park with a simple finish to give the home fans a welcome boost.
Ebanks-Blake, a 64th minute substitute for Stephen Hunt, equalised within moments of entering the fray. Nenad Milijas passed the ball to the feet of Wolves’ forward with his touch creating space and time before poking the ball between the legs of Edwin van der Sar. It was just reward for the endeavours of the away team.
Wolves striker Fletcher then spurned the chance to secure a famous victory when he blasted his effort hopelessly over the crossbar from six yards out before Park struck again to grab the winner.
The result ensures United approach their crucial derby clash with Manchester City on Wednesday night on a positive note with three victories on the trot following a series of stalemates.