Manchester United matchwinner Raphael Varane was full of praise for Andre Onana’s debut as Erik ten Hag’s side secured a nervy 1-0 Premier League win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

It was a sight which brought a tear to the eye. With seconds remaining at a fraught Old Trafford, Manchester United’s new £47 million goalkeeper rushed off his line, dived at the feet of a couple of Wolves forwards, and bravely claimed a dangerous ball into the box.

It is not hard to imagine a certain Spaniard dealing with the situation rather differently; glued to his line, hand on post, two points given away at the death.

Much has been made of Andre Onana’s ability with the ball at his feet but it was the other side of his game which came to the fore on Monday night. The former Inter Milan glovesman pulled off a couple of solid close-range stops as Wolves ramped up the pressure, while commanding his area with confidence and authority. That contentious ‘penalty’ incident aside.

Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Andre Onana shines on Manchester United debut

“It’s a good start for him,” Varane, who headed in United’s 76th minute winner following fine work from Bruno Fernandes and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, told the BBC at full-time. “We need time to build that connection on the pitch, which is normal.

“He is a very good player. He’ll help the team this season.”

The performance may have been far from convincing – and you can say that again – but three points is three points. Considering that we have witnessed United lose their Premier League opener at home to Brighton, Swansea and Crystal Palace over the last decade, you’ll forgive us for breathing a sigh of relief and moving on.

And as for that late VAR drama, yes Onana clattered a Wolves player in the penalty area when the ball was gone but didn’t Jose Sa do the same at the other end about 20 minutes earlier?

‘Find a way to win’

“They were more aggressive (than) we were. But then still, we have to find a way to win the game,” a relieved Ten Hag told the Man United website. “That is what we did and then you see the spirit of the team and the willingness to win.

“And we’re happy. I was really pleased with the win, of course, and it was a fight. It’s all about (getting) back into the season. We know we have to fight for our points and on the ball.

It wasn’t a great game but we had to fight. We have to find a way to win and that’s what we did.”

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