Another Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The 2-2 draw with Burnley on Tuesday which marked the first dropped points of Solskjaer’s caretaker regime demanded an immediate response, and it was Rashford who took it upon himself to lead from the front. Having been returned to the centre of attack in the place of Romelu Lukaku, the England man staked his latest claim to be considered as United’s first-choice centre-forward.
He had already missed a glorious chance before his ninth-minute opener, heading over at the far post from a delicious left-wing cross by Luke Shaw. But he was as clinical as they come when converting a brilliant chipped pass from Paul Pogba, taking the lofted ball down with his first touch before sweeping past Kasper Schmeichel with aplomb.
It was his eighth goal in his last 13
He was replaced for the final 12 minutes by Lukaku but whereas there was a time when the Belgian was the undisputed number nine for Jose Mourinho, Rashford is becoming untouchable in the main striker’s position for Solskjaer.
He has become far more clinical of late, has displayed a coolness in front of goal which had previously undermined his claims to the starting role, and most importantly now has a manager who doesn’t demand a back-to-goal element to the job above all else.
Elsewhere there was another frustrating performance from Alexis Sanchez as he played way short of the pace of the game after being selected ahead of Anthony Martial. But there were encouraging displays by Shaw and, as ever, David de Gea as he made acrobatic saves to keep out Jamie Vardy and Rachid Ghezzal during the second half as the hosts caused United a few skipped heartbeats.
On the down side, his dynamite pass for Rashford’s goal apart, Pogba was far from his best while Nemanja Matic could easily have been sent off and United struggled to dominate the flow of the play as a result. This was by no means United’s most convincing performance since the Norwegian arrived in mid-December.
But in Rashford they have a centre-forward who is fit and
And with nine wins in 10 matches since Mourinho’s sacking, United