Marcus Rashford was a constant thorn in Liverpool’s side in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, and there were signs that Manchester United’s number ten could be getting back to his best.
The goal against Bulgaria for England during the international break seemed to have restored that confidence and swagger that had been missing back into Rashford’s game.
After failing to score in open play for United since the first game of the season against Chelsea, Rashford had cut a very sombre figure in recent weeks for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
But there were no signs of negativity in his performance against Liverpool, he looked up for it from the get go, with him and Daniel James being deployed as wide forwards, which unnerved Liverpool.
Rashford’s goal would have delighted Solskjaer, as there have been too many occasions during Anthony Martial’s absence that Rashford failed to show a desire and explosive movement when James delivered a cross into the box.
United took the lead through Rashford who prodded home from close range after James’ inviting cross from the right.
Rashford’s movement was too much for Joel Matip, who looked all at sea throughout the match when facing Rashford.
The 21-year-old breezed past the Cameroon international on two occasions before scuffing a cutback and unleashing a shot on the edge of the box, which had Alisson scrambling. The Liverpool defenders were retreating every time Rashford ran at them.
His goal showed that he might be working on his movement in the penalty area behind the scenes, if he can get himself into those goalscoring positions on a regular basis, James will find him.
United fans loved the strength Rashford displayed in the 20th minute, he put towering defender Virgil van Djik on his backside after going shoulder to shoulder with him.
It was a star contrast to seeing Rashford getting bullied and showing no willingness to engage in physical duels, this was a Rashford who looked fit, sharp, strong and hungry. When all those traits are prospering, he can be unplayable.
United’s big game player?
In games against the top six sides so far this season, Rashford has scored twice against Chelsea, assisted Scott McTominay’s goal against Arsenal, and scored the opener against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
He has now scored 11 goals against the Premier League’s top six clubs since bursting on the scene, he relishes the big matches.
The 21-year-old completed four take-ons during his 83 minutes on the pitch before being replaced to a standing ovation by the returning Martial.
Hopefully the goal against Liverpool will be the start of a goalscoring run for Rashford, and it can be the springboard for him to go on and score 20 goals this season.
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