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Rashford: Manchester United wouldn't have won Astana game two years ago

3:55 AM GMT 20/09/2019
The forward was happy with his side's ability to get past a tricky test at Old Trafford on Thursday, even if it wasn't the prettiest win

Marcus Rashford believes Manchester United did not have this "togetherness" two years ago as praised the team's performance in their Europa League opener. 

United kicked off their Group L campaign with a stuttering 1-0 victory thanks to teenage sensation Mason Greenwood at home to Astana on Thursday. 

Greenwood, 17, scored his first senior goal to lead Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United past the Kazakh visitors in Manchester. 

United were far from their best as Solskjaer named a youthful XI, but Rashford was happy with what he saw at Old Trafford. 

"It wasn't the best performance but there was a lot of good stuff, they're tough to break down," Rashford told reporters. 

"If I look back to two years ago, I don't think the team had the togetherness to come through a game like that. 

"Everyone expects it to be easy but the opposition have come to win so it's always tough." 

Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot was also in the starting line-up as United named their youngest XI in a Europa League or Champions League game since December 2012. 

It was Dalot's first appearance of the season after injury postponed the start of the 20-year-old's campaign at the Theatre of Dreams. 

However, it was all about team-mate Greenwood, who is set to take on more responsibility this term following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez. 

"He's been working hard," Dalot said. "Mason, [Tahith] Chong, Angel [Gomes], the kids, myself, are working hard for this moment. He helped us today and I'm so happy for his goal." 

On United's young players, Dalot added: "I think this club is all about that – if you're good enough you're old enough, that's another thing we want to keep in this club. If we keep working hard, I think Ole will give us a chance." 

The win marked the first time since March that Manchester United had won back-to-back competitive matches.  

They’ll be looking to make it three in a row on Sunday when they take to the road to face West Ham.  

The Old Trafford side sit fourth in the Premier League through five rounds of games.