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A goal deep in injury time from substitute Marcus Rashford finally broke Hull's resolve and gave Manchester United a 1-0 at a rain-sodden KC Stadium.
The 18-year-old tapped home from close range after great work from the otherwise ineffectual Wayne Rooney.
The youngster was finally introduced with just 19 minutes remaining and he, along with fellow sub Henrik Mkhitaryan brought a pace and directness to the Utd attack that had been missing until then.
Jose Mourinho's side had dominated throughout and had gone close on a number of occasions through Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Mkhitaryan.
But Mike Phelan's men, with Curtis Davies outstanding at the back, looked like they would hang on for a point but Rashford's late finish gave Utd a deserved win and maintained their 100% record in this year's Premier League.
Utd next face rivals City at Old Trafford after the international break while Hull will take comfort from a start to the season which has brought two wins and a gutsy display which almost earned a draw against one of the title contenders.
The visitors had the first real chance on nine minutes when Anthony Martial cut inside and floated over a cross which Ibrahimovic, under pressure, guided goalwards but the ball dropped just over the crossbar with Eldin Jakupovic beaten.
Rooney, again picked in the number 10 role, was struggling to impress, the captain being dispossessed three times in a few minutes in the first half as his poor first touch and lack of sharpness in tight areas was taken advantage of by his opponents.
Hull were content to allow Utd have possession, staying solid and disciplined and the visitors were struggling to create chances, too slow and unimaginative in the Hull final third.
However, Utd almost broke the deadlock on 37 minutes, Juan Mata beating his man in the box before his cross-cum-shot was palmed into the path of Rooney and the forward shot first time but Davies did brilliantly to block his effort on the line.
They went closer again just before the break when Rooney’s cross found the outstretched leg of Ibrahimovic but the big striker was unable to force it goalwards and his backheel from an acute angle found the side-netting.
The second half continued in the same pattern, with Martial dragging an effort wide before he was substituted for Mhikitaryan.
Rashford was finally introduced in the final 20 minutes in an effort to provide the pace and width Utd had been sorely lacking.
The youngster made an instant impact driving into the box before curling in a low shot which Jakupovic did well to tip away for a corner.
The pressure continued to increase and Luke Shaw did superbly, the ball eventually falling to Mhikitaryan but the Armenian waited and his shot was blocked.
Utd, with Rashford at the fore, continued to turn the screw and they were finally rewarded deep in injury time when Rooney did very well to drive into the box and his pass found the onrushing Rashford, with the young forward sweeping home from close range.
The goal finally broke Hull’s resistance and triggered wild celebrations among Utd’s players, fans and Mourinho; this side may not win the title this season but they are almost certain to come close.
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