Everyone was talking about Marcus Rashford, and deservedly so, after the Manchester United forward scored twice in a dominant performance against old boss Jose Mourinho and Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
Rashford scored early and then won and converted a penalty in the 2-1 win at Old Trafford, the Red Devils claiming three points to move into sixth place.
[ RECAP: Man Utd 2-1 Spurs ]
He also forced Paulo Gazzaniga into an acrobatic save on a dipping shot from distance, and was at the center of anything good produced by United.
Rashford says it’s down to effort, via the BBC:
“This is the hardest we’ve had to work to get a result. The position we’re in now, we want these games. We want to show people we can play against top teams. We had a lot of shots, I wouldn’t say clear-cut chances, the keeper made a few good saves. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t. Today they didn’t, but we ground it out. Happy times always to play in front of the home fans.”
As for his Rashford’s former boss, Mourinho said he prepared the players for Rashford’s left-sided acumen, and the forward still executed with aplomb.
There was more than a little hint of “Old Jose” in his description of Spurs’ players failure and defense of how he used Rashford on the wing when pundits kept saying he was a center forward.
“When he plays from the left he is really dangerous and I knew that and gave the players the best information about it,” he said. “His first goal is a typical Rashford goal coming on the inside. Our boys knew that clearly.”
[ MORE: Mourinho, Dele on “overconfident” Spurs ]
Under fire, at least outwardly, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was understandably thrilled by both the win and his 22-year-old. Rashford now has nine goals and four assists in 15 league outings this season.
“It was the best performance Marcus Rashford has had under me, a mature and aggressive performance. It was a great performance. It’s like he was back on the playground, we just want these players to express themselves and have fun.”