Monday, 17 April 2017

Rashford keeps hope alive that United can nurture youth

United's verve and potency returned in the 2-0 win over Chelsea and no one epitomised that more than Marcus Rashford.

In a week when United manager Jose Mourinho criticised his forwards for their "sloppy" play against Anderlecht, Rashford responded with a brilliant individual performance.

Arguably United's best performer along with the immense Ander Herrera, Rashford was handed a key role in Jose's tactical gameplan and performed it to a tee. 

It wasn't just his tireless and lively personal display, though, but also the affect that had on a United as a team.
His willingness to run, chase and harry meant the Reds were a lot more threatening with a pace and purpose in our attack that has been missing at times this season.  

With a tired Zlatan Ibrahimovic rested, Rashford was again called upon to lead the line and never gave the Chelsea defence a moment's rest.
He returned to his dazzling early promise, scored the opening goal and departed in the 82nd minute to a standing ovation.

Rashford burst on to the scene in fairytale fashion last season with four goals in his first two senior starts and he returned for his second season at the club with everyone expecting wonders. 
He was judged to be a fully fledged pro, the complete article, a finished item but in reality still resembled a raw, rising, up-and-coming talent. 

Mourinho is not known for his faith in youth, though, and with Wayne Rooney departing the scene, Zlatan Ibrahimovic became first choice centre-forward. 

As a result, Rashford has endured a frustrating season out wide in a bit-part role, but there are signs that he is finding his feet again.
He came on and scored at Sunderland last week and was excellent too, in Anderlecht: playing through the middle is clearly to his liking, 

David Luiz has had a superb season back at Chelsea and is one of the main reasons why they look set to win the league title.
But the Brazilian had no answer as Rashford continued his recent renaissance: he was direct, quick, relentless and skilful with the ball at his feet.
He had Luiz and his centre-back cohorts Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma in a spin, hustling them and running beyond them time and time again.

He continues to keep the hope alive that United can still find young talent and put them on this stage to grow and learn. 

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