Manchester United are enjoying an unbeaten return to action after lockdown, with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial shining at different times.

Marcus Rashford’s outstanding work off the pitch deservedly grabbed the headlines before football came back, but he took a little longer to hit his old heights on it since lockdown.

In the space of a week, he has scored against Southampton and Crystal Palace and looks to be approaching something nearing his best again.

We’ve looked at what was wrong before and what he’s doing now…

Fitness concerns

(PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

It shouldn’t be forgotten that Rashford is coming off the back of a long injury lay-off and likely needed games to get up to speed.

Especially against Aston Villa, Rashford played like a player protecting an injury; moving gingerly away in the aftermath of challenges and seemingly playing within himself.

He couldn’t be expected to come back in and hit the ground running instantly.

 

But it was notable that Rashford was not yet burning past players with the same regularity and menace, but against Palace that all changed.

Rashford’s got his edge back

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Rashford’s best moments against Palace – and Southampton – came when he got back to doing what he does best, running at players.

He married that with sublime composure to send three Eagles players the wrong way to slot home on the stroke of half time.

Arguably, his contribution to the second goal was even better. He collected the ball in a deep area, seemingly surrounded but his speed of foot and mind got him clear.

As the move developed, he slipped in Anthony Martial to kill the match off.

Rashford has rediscovered his deadly instincts at just the right time, ahead of a critical final week in the Premier League, and this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final.

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