Marcus Rashford came off the bench to score a late winner for Manchester United, as the Red Devils overcame an impressive defensive display from Hull City to make it nine points out of nine in the Premier League so far this season.
As the rain pounded down in Hull, United dominated possession as they racked up 29 shots with nine on target, but the Tigers frustrated José Mourinho’s men right up until the 92nd minute.
The first chance of cagey first half fell to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, when the in-form Swede’s glancing header from an Anthony Martial cross landed on the roof of the net, causing some of the away supporters to believe their side had taken the lead.
At the other end, only a diving Luke Shaw header prevented Robert Snodgrass from latching onto a beautifully whipped cross from left-back Andrew Robertson. Had Shaw not intervened, Snodgrass would have had an easy chance at the far post.
After half an hour the game opened up a bit more; Juan Mata hit the target with a free-kick from 20 yards, but it was easily saved by Eldin Jakupovic. Abel Henandez tested David de Gea with a header from 15 yards, then United raced up the other end and, thanks to some tricky footwork from Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney was presented with a guilt-edged chance, but Hull defender Curtis Davies blocked the England captain’s goal-bound effort with his abdomen.
As the first half drew to a close, Ibrahimovic appeared to have spurned a clear opportunity when he was unable to redirect a Rooney free-kick goalwards, but the former Paris Saint Germain player was offside and the two sides went into the break goalless.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Snodgrass had to be withdrawn due to an apparent knee injury, and he was replaced by fellow Scotland international Shaun Maloney.
The first effort on target of the second period was a tame Rooney header which Jakupovic gathered routinely. With an hour played, Martial lashed a 25-yard effort just wide of the near post, and it tuned out to be the 20-year-old’s last involvement in the game, as he was promptly replaced by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
By this stage, United were dominating possession but unable to break down Hull’s staunchly built defensive wall. Martial was the man dragged off, but, in truth, it could easily been any of the attacking players.
As the Red Devils’ frustration grew, Pogba tried his luck from 30 yards, but his strike whizzed just over the bar. Mkhitaryan’s introduction had quickened United’s attacking interplay, but Hull’s defensive line remained resolute.
With 20 minutes to play, Mkhitaryan burst through the middle of midfield and was brought down 30 yards from goal. Ibrahimovic tried his luck from the resultant free-kick but couldn’t beat the Hull wall. Minutes later, David Meyler appeared to handle an Antonio Valencia’s cross in the penalty area, but the referee saw no infringement.
On 73 minutes, Marcus Rashford was brought on for his first appearance of the season in place of Juan Mata to add some pace to United’s attack. But it was Hull who threatened most, as Tom Huddlestone’s deflected shot had de Gea wrong-footed, but, to United’s relief, it drifted a yard wide of the post.
As the final 10 minutes approached, Rashford cut in from the left and forced a fine save from Jakupovic. The teenager’s energy and pace had added a new dimension to United’s play, but still no breakthrough.
Rashford was again involved in the action when he collected a cut-back from Shaw and played Mkhitaryan through, but Davies made another heroic block. The pressure on Hull’s back line was mounting by this stage.
With two minutes to play, Pogba engineered a yard of space just outside the box, but he couldn’t find the target with his shot. Mkhitaryan was next to try his luck from distance, but his shot didn’t really test Jakupovic.
But then, in stoppage time, Rooney, who had been switched out to the left wing, turned back the clock by beating Ahmed Elmohamady around the outside and squaring the ball across the six yard box, where Rashford was waiting to tap in his first goal of the season, claiming a hard-fought but well-deserved three points.