Rasmus Hojlund claimed to be the “happiest man alive” after breaking his Premier League duck to earn Manchester United a stunning 3-2 comeback win over Aston Villa.
Under-fire striker Hojlund, who cost an initial £64million from Atalanta in the summer, grabbed the 82nd-minute winner on his 15th top-flight appearance.
Villa were on course to move level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table following first-half finishes from John McGinn and Leander Dendoncker before Alejandro Garnacho’s double brought the hosts level.
Hojlund’s decisive strike, which followed five goals in the Champions League, further eased the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag as United celebrated victory in their first match since Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment in the club was confirmed.
“It’s been a while but I’m happy,” the 20-year-old Denmark international told Amazon Prime.
“I’m the happiest man alive right now – you can see in the celebrations as well. We believe until the end and we showed a lot of character again today.”
United had failed to score in their previous four matches in all competitions and looked set to see their winless run stretch to five matches before the dramatic turnaround.
Hojlund hopes to increase his tally in the league after ending his lengthy wait to hit the net.
“I’ve scored a couple in the Champions League but of course it’s been a while in the Premier League,” he said.
“I’m happy to get the first one and now hopefully I can keep going.”
The Stretford End sang the names of both of United’s goal scorers in the closing stages of the match and at full-time.
Argentina forward Garnacho, who also had a goal disallowed for offside, believes the performance has answered some of the critics.
“I’m very happy – happy for Rasmus also,” said the 19-year-old. “Too many people talk about the strikers in Manchester United, (saying) we never score goals.
“It’s one of the best days of my life.”
United rose to sixth place courtesy of the win, while Villa remain third after blowing a major opportunity.
Manager Ten Hag said: “I’m so happy that the strikers scored – that is what we needed.
“I know we are capable of it, they are good at finishing.
“(Marcus) Rashford, Garnacho and Hojlund, they’re all good finishers and we have more. Also, they have to show it every game.”
The Dutchman added: “I said before the game, we are competitive with Arsenal, we are competitive with Liverpool. If we play our best, we can beat anyone, so believe in that.
“Even when you’re 2-0 down it doesn’t matter; keep going, show the character and today I think we showed it.
“We have the personalities to do it and today was a very good team performance.”