Victor Lindelof was the unlikely hero as Manchester United moved into the top six with a 1-0 win over Luton Town in the Premier League on Saturday.
But Erik ten Hag was angry that his forwards failed to score again at Old Trafford.
It had been almost three years since the Swedish defender scored his first goal. He did it from close range after Luton failed to clear a corner.
With Lindelof’s goal, United’s centre backs have scored more Premier League goals than their forwards so far this season.
Ten Hag’s team needed to get back on track badly after losing 4–3 to FC Copenhagen on Wednesday, which was their ninth loss in 17 games this season.
But the English giants have won four of their last five Premier League games. They may be out of the Champions League early, but they are still far from out.
That’s how close all of those wins have been, and United’s win over Hatters at Old Trafford on their first visit there since 1991 wasn’t strong either.
“It is a good day. We needed the win and we got it but we could make life more easy by scoring early on and getting a second,” said Ten Hag.
“We created the chances but we didn’t score apart from one.
“We had many chances before half-time and you should net one of them. After half-time, get the second and then the game is gone. Now you keep them alive and they can get an equaliser from balls dropping in the wrong place.”
Rasmus Hojlund scored twice when he got back to Denmark last week, giving him five goals in four Champions League games.
But Hojlund hasn’t scored in the Premier League yet.
The player who cost £64 million ($78 million) missed two great chances to score.
The best play by Hojlund then set up Alejandro Garnacho, but he couldn’t beat Thomas Kaminski when he was clear on goal.
The first goal for United didn’t come until just before the hour mark.
Rashford sent in a low cross that Lindelof deflected back into his path. From 10 yards out, Lindelof made no mistake.
Rashford was one of the players who missed chances to make United’s lead bigger.
But United’s defence didn’t have much trouble, and they kept a clean sheet at Old Trafford for the first time since the first weekend of the season.
With a win, United is now only six points behind league leaders Manchester City.
To stay out of the relegation zone, Luton only needs to achieve a goal difference of 1.