Marcus Rashford’s excellent run of form continued this week as he won his team all three points in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford.
The 21-year-old forward dragged the Reds over the line with another man of the match performance and two more goals.
Rashford has remained as United’s arguably brightest spark throughout their inconsistent performances this season. With Frenchman Anthony Martial struggling to produce regularly and new signing Daniel James in a goal drought, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been reliant on Rashford’s goals.
United’s main man
Rashford leads the way at United for goals (9) and assists (4) this season (via PremierLeague). However, as well as his goal contributions, the tricky forward constantly makes things happen when he gets on the ball.
No United player averages more shots or successful dribbles per game than Rashford (WhoScored). His ability to drive the defence back opens up space in and around the box for his teammates to occupy. As a result, even when he doesn’t finish a move with a shot, he is able to lay the ball off to a supporting player.
It has been clear since Martial’s return to the central role that Rashford has a far greater influence when coming in off the left-wing. When playing through the middle, he was receiving the ball with his back to play and could not gain momentum to run at the back four.
Since returning to the wing against Norwich, Rashford has bagged 8 goals in 8 games in all competitions and looked much more dangerous.
Important 3 points
The win over Spurs was a crucial one for United with questions over Solskjaer’s future becoming more frequent. The three points saw them climb above Mourinho’s side into 6th spot, though still eight points off of the top four (Premier League).
However, in a tough week of football for United, the general consensus was that they needed at least three points from the two fixtures to ease the pressure.
Dropped points on Wednesday night would have piled the pressure on going into the Manchester derby. But now Solskjaer’s side will be looking at their trip to the Etihad as a free hit. Nobody expects United to come away from the game with anything and this suits them perfectly.
They will look to be compact and soak up pressure, before hitting City’s shaky defence on the break. The potential return of Paul Pogba could be a huge boost for United, and with Rashford firing on all cylinders, United will be quietly confident they can get a result against their fierce rivals.