Marcus Rashford is Old Trafford’s new idol, and Van Gaal’s latest weapon in attack, with the youngster netting 4 goals already in 2 games played, with yet another double following the one in the Europa League on Thursday and even provided an assist to Herrera in today’s game against Arsenal. Having taken his chances in the Europa League following Martial’s injury, the 18-year old was once again United’s main man upfront, as this time he delivered an important win for the Red Devils, denting Arsenal’s hopes for the title in the process. It was not a “horny and sexy” football this time from the Red Devils, but one with more purpose in it in the end.
United had a shaky start thou with the yet again patched up defence involving Carrick, as first Welbeck tried to create a chance on goal, then Monreal forced De Gea to produce a save in a one-on-one situation. Rashford for his part kept the Arsenal center backs on their toes and his first real contribution was to win a freekick on the edge of the box, which unfortunately saw Memphis drive the shot straight at Cech in goal. United, who had conceded 3 goals in 20 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, this time kept the ball, giving very little for Arsenal to feed on, and instead found the net first this time. Varela delivered a teasing cross in the box from his right side, which Arsenal’s players failed to clear properly, and Rashford swept in on the loose ball to open the score on the 29th minute. Three minutes later it was total chaos for Arsenal as Rashford rose to head in Lingard’s cross past Cech one again. Arsenal however managed to get one back on the 40th minute, as old boy Welbeck headed in Özil’s freekick past De Gea.
2-1 at halftime, United tried to increase the lead in the second half, but first Schneiderlin then Memphis saw their respective shots blocked, before Mata sent Rashford on a quick-counter, and despite being tracked back by 2 defenders, he calmly protected the ball, then teed up Herrera on the edge of the box. The latter let fly with a first time shot, but thanks to a deflection off Koscielny, Cech was completely wrong-footed and United regained their 2-goal lead on the 65th minute. It was a short-lived one thou, as Özil netted at the other end on the 69th minute after De Gea had produced another save from Welbeck, but the rebound falling kindly to the German midfielder to volley home. United eventually held on to the 3-2 scoreline to claim the 3 points but the best pick of the game was the theatrical fall from LVG who was showing his displeasure about certain Arsenal antics to the fourth official, which brought most fans in the ground to their feet applauding and cheering:
Also to note, the respective debuts of Timothy Fosu-Mensah and James Weir in the United first team, the former replacing the injured Rojo as left back, while the latter came on late for Herrera in midfield, which shows that although Van Gaal can be a madcap at times, he does trust the young players as well, and does not hesitate to give them their chances to shine, albeit against an Arsenal team as well…