Marcus Rashford

Martial scores dazzling hat trick for Manchester United (video)

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Anthony Martial scored a dazzling hat trick for Manchester United against Sheffield United on Wednesday.

The Frenchman twice combined with Marcus Rashford to score the first treble of his career, as Martial became the first Manchester United player in seven years to score a hat trick in the Premier League.

Martial scored twice in the first half and once in the second to complete a lovely Manchester United attacking display as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s forwards ran riot against Sheffield United.


After a slightly sluggish start the hosts got going and took the lead within the first seven minutes as they made the most of some slack Sheffield United defending in a big battle for the Champions League places.

England international Rashford got free on the right side of the box and drilled the ball across to French international Martial who tapped home to put Man United 1-0 up.

Their telepathic understanding is clicking back into place and that is bad news for the rest of the Premier League, but great news for Man United.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka set up Martial for his second and Rashford then played a sublime one-two with Martial to complete his hat trick.

With Martial, Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba all starting together for the first time, Man United looked superb going forward.

Check out the Martial hat trick in the video above, while click on the link above to watch a full replay of Manchester United v Sheffield United.

Premier League Golden Boot race

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Will England have a new name on an illustrious list when the Premier League Golden Boot race is run next month?

Every winner since the 2014-15 season is still within a rich vein of form from renewed acquaintances. with the honor, but six of the league’s top ten scorers would be first time top dogs on the PL season goals list.

[ MORE: Werner to Chelsea official ]

That includes the leader, Jamie Vardy. The next three names on the list are Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah, and Sergio Aguero, and they all have a Golden Boot in their lockers.

Jamie Vardy, Leicester City (19)

As Vardy goes, so do the Foxes. He scored at least one goal in every match of Leicester’s eight-match winning streak this fall but his brace against Villa on March 9 was his lone appearance on the dance card since the calendar turned to 2020. Four of Vardy’s goals have been penalties, so he’s got that going for him if the VAR is kind to Leicester.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal (17)

Aubameyang isn’t having his best year, no doubt down to some inconsistency from his playing partners. Arsenal still faces three of four PL clubs to have conceded 50 or more goals this season.

Mohammed Salah, Liverpool, and Sergio Aguero, Man City (16)

Aguero has won this award before and he’s among the favorites to do it again given he’s three goals from the top despite playing at least 800 fewer minutes then the men level or ahead of him.

Throw in the fact that City’s 76 expected goals are 14 higher than the field and you’ve got the recipe for something special. Aguero and teammate Gabriel Jesus are the runaway leaders for xG/90 amongst qualified players.

Salah’s been very good since the start of December, scoring 10 of his goals and adding three assists in that span. He’s the league leader in expected goals (15.54) just ahead of snakebit teammate Roberto Firmino (15.49 xG, 8 goals).

Danny Ings, Southampton (15)

Like Vardy, it would be silly to rule out the clear target man for a Premier League club. Ings has only scored once in his last seven as Saints hit a rough patch before the coronavirus pause, but maybe time’s healed his form.

Marcus Rashford, Man Utd, and Sadio Mane, Liverpool (14)

Rashford has been a monster when healthy and trails only Aguero and Jesus in xG per game. He’s also United’s penalty taker so there’s that.

Mane’s a powerful force but he’s also in the business of sharing goals at Liverpool. It’s difficult to project him winning the Premier League Golden Boot race.

The field (13 or fewer)

13 goals
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton
Raul Jimenez, Wolves
Tammy Abraham, Chelsea

12 goals
Raheem Sterling, Man City

11 goals
Anthony Martial, Man Utd
Chris Wood, Burnley
Harry Kane, Spurs
Teemu Pukki, Norwich City

10. goals
Gabriel Jesus, Man City
Richarlison, Everton

Marcus Rashford: Government to provide free school meals

Marcus Rashford
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Marcus Rashford has forced a major u-turn from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as the most vulnerable children in England will now receive free school meals throughout the summer months.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

The Man United and England forward had campaigned tirelessly throughout the coronavirus pandemic to make sure that kids across England who were eligible for free school meals were getting enough food as he raised funds and was donating his own money to supply millions of meals for children.

Initially his plea to the government for help on providing free school meals for over 1.3 million vulnerable children this summer months was rejected but Johnson made a massive about-turn and free school meals will be issued throughout the summer months at a cost of over $151 million for the government.

The summer program is being called the ‘Covid Summer Food Fund’ and will provide $19 per week for each child in England who needs the free school meals program.

“Owing to the corona pandemic, the PM fully understands that children and parents face an entirely unprecedented situation over the summer,” a spokesman for Boris Johnson said.

Rashford responded to the news by saying:  “I don’t even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.” Rashford has been lauded on social media for his campaign to help provide free school meals and was honored by the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester last month.

Shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey thanked Rashford for his help in making it a reality.

“It is thanks to the amazing work of Marcus Rashford and campaigners that the government has had no choice but to reverse their decision. The government must now confirm that this new money will be for the direct provision of free school meals to all eligible children.”

The 22-year-old striker doubled his donations in late April while revealing that he was once in the same shoes as those kids, and that he would have gone hungry many times had he not had access to such programs.

While the UK government had been providing free school lunches to kids during the coronavirus pandemic, it did plan to do so during the summer.

Then Rashford stepped in and further cemented his status as a thoroughly nice bloke.

Manchester United season restart preview

Manchester United season restart
Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images
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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they stand ahead of the final nine matches of the season.

Manchester United is next.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Let’s take a closer look at all things Red Devils when it comes to the season restart.

Outlook: Very, very good. While United supporters will feel aggrieved to know their club cannot. catch their two biggest rivals, you wouldn’t laugh off the idea of them finishing as high as third given a wildly straight-forward fixture list and the fact that we are about to see Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford together for the first time. Perhaps those players will have some growing pains, but the club has the depth to finish in the Premier League’s top four, challenge for the FA Cup, and win the Europa League.

[ MORE: Ranking every Man Utd player’s 2019-20 PL season ]

Tactical analysis: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s favorite formation this year has been a 4-2-3-1, though he turned to a 3-4-1-2 in memorable wins over Chelsea and Man City just before the coronavirus pause.

We don’t know his plans to produce an attack with Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford together, but the best possible XI is going to leave out some very good players. Playing Scott McTominay and Fred, both revelations, leaves out either wide players or puts Pogba or Fernades out of position (unless he opts for a 4-4-2 which will ask a lot of Rashford and Anthony Martial).

Since making his Manchester United debut on February 1, Fernandes leads the club in all competitions in shots (33), shots on target (12), assists (4) and chances created (24), and ranks third in goals (3).

Possible XI (4-3-1-2) 

—– De Gea —–

— Wan-Bissaka — Lindelof — Maguire — B. Williams —

—– Fred — Pogba — McTominay —–

—– Fernandes —–

—– Rashford —– Martial —–

This lineup excludes Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Daniel James, Odion Ighalo, Marcus Greenwood, and Eric Bailly. That’s a very decent bench. Solskjaer could also put a lot of responsibility on Fred or McTominay by putting Fernandes and Pogba in the center of the pitch with him and using a three-man forward line of Rashford, Martial, and another.

[ MORE: The 2 Robbies assess Man Utd’s chances ]

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Remaining schedule
Home: Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Southampton, West Ham
Away: Spurs, Brighton, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Leicester City

Predicted finish: Depending on your faith in Leicester City, United will probably be favorites if not heavy favorites in seven or eight of their nine matches. Their home matches feature sides both surprising and desperate but it’ll be stunning if a side that found its groove to the tune of a five-match unbeaten run before the coronavirus pause and returns Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford fails to finish in the top four.

Rashford continues drive to feed underprivileged after Boris Johnson setback

Boris Johnson setback
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Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford vowed to keep fighting to get free school lunches for low income families in England after prime minister Boris Johnson rejected the player’s plea to extend its meal plan over the summer.

[ MORE: Premier League fixtures remaining ]

Rashford has rightfully earned massive praise for raising awareness and donating money as part of a fundraising drive that’s brought in millions of meals for kids during the coronavirus pandemic. He was honored by the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester late last month.

The 22-year-old striker doubled his donations in late April while revealing that he was once in the same shoes as those kids, and that he would have gone hungry many times had he not had access to such programs.

The government had been providing free school lunches to kids during the coronavirus pandemic but a spokesman said Boris Johnson would not extend the plan across the summer, according to The Guardian. Johnson’s rep touted a separate plan to allocate about $80 million to help families find food.

Rashford says 200,000 kids may miss a meal each day without the extension of the program. The Guardian says the program is worth about $19/week. Quick math on that is $3.8 million per week.