Tag Archives: Marcus Rashford

Manchester United Come Back To Beat Brighton

Manchester United got off to a characteristically slow start, going a goal down at home, yet came back to beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 to strengthen their grip on second place in the Premier League. 

Former Striker Haunts united Again

Not for the first time since leaving Old Trafford, Danny Welbeck scored against his former club, heading home the rebound after a fine reflex save from Dean Henderson looked to have kept him out. 

The strike was Welbeck’s fourth against his former club, and put his club on course for an unlikely result in their much-needed fight against relegation. 

However, United came out a much more positive side in the second half, and equalised thanks to a fine finish from Marcus Rashford in the 62nd minute 

Mason Greenwood The Difference Maker

In a second season that hasn’t quite lived up to that of his debut, Mason Greenwood has re-found his scoring touch, and at just the right time as United limp towards the finish line. 

He was in the right place at the right time in the 83rd minute, much like his manager was throughout his playing career, and capitalised on the open space he found inside the box to head home his first senior United goal. 

Finding A Way To Win

Sir Alex Ferguson’s title-winning sides were renowned for finding ways to win, and that quality has sadly been lacking at Old Trafford since his retirement. 

Today though the team showed the composure, character and quality needed to fight at the top of the league, something that pleased their manager as they ground out a hard-fought win. 

“I thought we started well but when they scored, after that we couldn’t find our rhythm again and we needed half-time to compose ourselves and go again. In the second half we played some good stuff.”

“The second half was nothing tactically [different] from what we wanted in the first half. It was more runs in behind, more movement, better movement. Sometimes after international breaks it takes time and then maybe the fireworks have to be lit at half-time. It was a very good second half,’ said Solskjaer.

After being wasteful for much of the season, the manager was pleased to see the hard work in training paying off, with clinical finishes from both Rashford and Greenwood. 

“The first one was from good play by Bruno, with a great finish by Marcus. That’s my favourite type of finish, when the striker’s in control. He’s in control of the whole situation. The corners are always open and it’s a big goal, so a good finish. And the second goal overall [from Greenwood] was a very, very good goal – a diving header, or a header inside the six-yard box.”

“He’s (Greenwood) coming good at the right time. We’ve said it for months really, he’s played some great football, he’s maturing. Today I thought he was one of our best performers in the first half. Neat and tidy, he got hold of the ball. Sometimes he had a change of pace, he drove past people, he hit the post. He hit one that goes over the bar which was a bit scuffed, but he was there, he’s always there.”

“He [Mason] has learned from Edi! And of course it’s important when Edinson is here now, he’s not going to play football forever, but the traits, his movement, he [Mason] has probably picked up. Mason needs to add goals like that to his tally, because we know what a wonderful talent he is. He played really well tonight and when he can add those goals, we know we’ve got a top forward there.”

Manchester United Making Incremental Improvements

Solskjaer has made much of the improvements made under his watch, both on the pitch and within the dressing room environment. 

However, fans want to see wins and trophies, not talk. 

One key marker of how far the club has come on the pitch is this season they have secured 25 points from losing positions, something that was unthinkable as little as 12 months ago. 

“[That shows] excellent spirit, attitude, character and of course, quality to come back. Sometimes the game doesn’t work you the way you want it to. I thought we started brightly, played some good stuff, but if you make some easy mistakes in your own half too many times, you’ll get punished and they punished us. So we had to react again – as you’ve said, we’ve done that so many times. It’s not a position you want to be in but these boys now have showed time and time again that we can compose ourselves and keep building momentum and creating chances.”

“You always want to perform because the better you perform, the more chance you have of getting a result. But sometimes you’ve just got to find a way to win. We’ve built momentum, we’ve built pressure, we’ve got players with quality and we managed to find a way.”

The Race For Second Intensifies

Manchester United are now four points clear of Leicester in second position, with the two sides squaring off at Old Trafford on May 11. 

Before then though, United have tricky away games at Tottenham, Leeds, and Aston Villa, as well as a home game against Liverpool to navigate, so every result will be crucial in the run-in. 

“Yes but we’re not going to rest. We fight for our lives, the boys fight to play in the team. I’ve got a good squad, they know that there’s competition for places. We fight as long as we can to move up the table. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else does, as long as we win and we get our points because we’re in second place. It’s a long way up [to first] but second place we want to consolidate that one. We want to at least keep that one and we’ve got a big game on Thursday [in the Europa League] as well,” concluded the manager. 

Thoughts of second place will be put on hold for now though, as United turn their attention to the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Granada on Thursday. 

Marcus Rashford Stoppage Time Winner Stuns Wolves

Marcus Rashford; Manchester United v Wolves

Marcus Rashford scored in the third minute of stoppage time to stun Wolves, and ensure Manchester United finish 2020 in second place on the table, a mere two points behind defending champions Liverpool.

Two of the hallmarks of Sir Alex Ferguson’s title-winning machines was the ability to grind out a result, and to turn one point into three in the dying moments of a match. Against Wolves, United had only two shots on target in 90 minutes, but managed to snatch victory through showing willingness and desire to chase a result until the final moment.

Current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjae won six titles as a player, and his team are now showing signs of being molded in their managers image as thoughts now turn to a title challenge.

When United lost to Arsenal at home in November there were calls for the Norwegians head, however, the club has taken 23 points from a possible 27 and are finally playing in crucial fixtures over the Christmas period, which brought praise from the manager.

“We had a fantastic attitude, and it’s a great result. The desire to keep going and to create that little bit of luck, we earned that luck by desire to keep going. It’s a good way of ending the year.”

“We just focus on the next game. I am very boring, but we cannot get too far ahead of ourselves. We have got to a decent position at the moment, but the season hasn’t even reached halfway.

“We didn’t perform as well as we want to, but we won a game against a very difficult side to play against. It’s the first win in the league for me against them. There have never been many goals in the games, but for me, this is a big step forward — that you don’t play well but you win.”

“We’re a different outfit now. We’re better mentally and physically. That belief has come through performances, results and players we have on the pitch that can change games in a second.”

“We brought it up in preseason that we need to add more points towards the end of games, and we’ve done that a few times this season, as well. Physically, we last games more.”

With a win over Wolves meaning United go into 2021 just two points behind Liverpool the foundations have been laid for a title challenge, even if the manager won’t admit it.

“We have plenty to look forward to in 2021.”

“There’s no title race after 15 games,” he said. “You can lose the chance of being in a race in the first 10 games, of course you can; but play another 15 — get to 30 games — and maybe we can start talking about a title race.

“The belief is there, we’ve shown what we’re capable of and this result is massive for confidence,” concluded Solskjaer.

Manchester United Lament Dropped Points At Leicester

leicester-city-v-manchester-united-premier-league-min

It’s testament to how far they have come in the past 12 months that Manchester United are disappointed to come away with just one point, drawing 2-2 against second-placed Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.

Having gone ahead twice thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford then talisman Bruno Fernandes, an 85th minute own goal from Axel Tuanzebe meant the two sides would share the spoils, and ensured Liverpool were given a Christmas gift of the opportunity to go six points clear of Leicester when they face West Brom on the 28th.

At this time last year, United were more than 20 points behind eventual Champions Liverpool, mired in mid-table obscurity and needing a late-season charge to make the Champions League positions.

Solskjaer’s team have not lost an away game since January, and had won their open six fixtures away from home to kick off the current campaign.

“We feel disappointed. The boys are flat in the dressing room. We created enough chances to score more goals. We defended well but they had one moment at the end. We created big chances. It was a good game of football, end to end,” said Solskjaer.

Bruno Fernandes has now been in the side for one year, and has transformed the squad with leadership, quality, and a hand in 31 goals in his 28 appearances – 18 goals and 13 assists.

Today he provided an assist to Rashford for the opening goal, then pounced on a Cavani pass for the second.

“[Fernandes] is definitely a player that impacts results,” Solskjaer said. “He scores, creates chances and takes risks which any Man United player should be brave enough to do. He is a brave boy. Sometimes there is an easier pass but you can’t take that away from Bruno, you want him to be the X factor.”

While pleased with his sides efforts going forward, Solskjaer was frustrated that his team let three points slip through some slack defending.

“The pressure on the ball for the first one wasn’t good enough. The second one, we could have stopped the cross and maybe it’s a bit unlucky on the deflection.

“When you score as often as we do you have to accept you open up at times. We felt we deserved more from the game. The first goal we should have got to Harvey Barnes and blocked quicker,” concluded the manager.

With the fixtures coming thick and fast, United will have a chance to get back to winning ways again soon. With home games against Wolves and Aston Villa to come, six points from those fixtures will have everyone talking of a summit showdown when United travel to Anfield on January 17th.

While they may not have the consistency of Champions, being in the title race discussion for the first time since 2013 is music to the ears of the Old Trafford faithful.