Refreshed Rashford can relaunch his season after goal with backing of his teammates

Marcus Rashford returned to the pitch for Manchester United with a goal – drawing a line under a run of 11 matches without finding the back of the net.

Rashford’s low point came in United’s FA Cup win over Villa. He looked more and more disconsolate as the game went on, and at one point refused to chase up a rebound. It looked like he had given up, a player who simply lacked self belief.

Whether you believe what happened next or not, Rashford officially missed the subsequent game with a ‘dead leg’. A cynic would suggest he was simply taken out of the firing line to have a break, to rest his mind as much as his body.

Rashford’s spot was taken by Anthony Elanga, and the young Swede has warranted his selection. It may even have fired Rashford up.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Biggest STAR Your Club Are Trying To SIGN This Month

When the England international came off the bench at Brentford, he seized his chance too. A bit of competition can be good, and it certainly helped that United were already 2-0 up, the pressure was off.

It was in the same circumstances Rashford’s previous goal came, with United 2-0 up away at Tottenham. It’s probably not a coincidence.

With the pressure off, Rashford could just relax a little, and concentrate on making his mark. He timed his run and finish to perfection.

After the goal went in, Rashford’s teammates swarmed on him. They know what he has been going through, the critcism he has received, some justified, and they are happy to see him turning a page.

Bruno Fernandes wrote on Instagram: “Happy to see you scoring bro”. Rashford also received supportive messages after his goal from Scott McTominay, Tammy Abraham, and Ravel Morrison.

Rashford almost seemed a little shy after scoring, with his teammates nudging him in the direction of United’s away fans to share his joy and relief with them as the team huddled around him.

A chance to move forward

Rashford needed this goal to kick on. The last thing he would have wanted was to go into the upcoming break without resolving his goal drought, and having even more time to stew on it.

This weekend United have a crucial league game at home to West Ham, and there is a fair chance Rashford will be back on the bench. That’s not a bad thing, Anthony Elanga and Mason Greenwood both scored and deserve to keep their places. But when he is called upon, he will have a spring in his step.

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

A goal at Old Trafford would really give Rashford a lift. It’s one thing scoring in front of a few thousand United away fans at Brentford, it’s an even better experience to savour in front of 70,000 plus at Old Trafford.

Rashford needs to look back on this night as a turning point. He had a little break out of the side, has come back in, and done his job well. It was a reminder that he is a good finisher when he keep it simple and doesn’t overthink it.

Reaching last season’s tally of 21 goals is a big ask, currently Rashford is only on four, after missing several weeks at the start of the season and then recently experiencing a loss of form.

You wouldn’t put it past him to go on a run now, and quickly move up into double figures for the season. Once he gets there, his confidence really will be flying again.

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Dan is still wondering what would have happened if United had kept Juan Veron...