Louis van Gaal happy with ‘fantastic’ Marcus Rashford performance

Louis van Gaal happy with ‘fantastic’ Marcus Rashford performance

Louis van Gaal was pleased with Marcus Rashford‘s two-goal debut in Manchester United’s 5-1 win over FC Midtjylland on Thursday night in the Europa League.

The 18-year-old was called into the starting XI at short notice after Anthony Martial injured himself in the warm-up at Old Trafford.

After a promising but occasionally peripheral first half display, Rashford exploded into life in the second half, scoring two goals that helped ensure Man United’s progress in the Europa League. Speaking after the game, van Gaal discussed what he told Rashford at half time and expressed his delight at the subsequent performance.

“In the first half he ran too much at the sidelines,” van Gaal said.

“I said to him at half-time to be in the width of the goal and you shall score. Then he scored two goals – it is fantastic for him.”

Giving credit to van Gaal probably isn’t very high on the list of what United fans want to do at the moment, but the Dutchman deserves credit for the advice he gave to Rashford during the interval.

In the first period, which saw United frenetically go for the jugular, Rashford was a constant source of energy – chasing after everything that came his way. The second period, however, was different; van Gaal needed a more measured, calculated approach to assaulting Midtjylland’s goal, and so he made sure Rashford remained central. This meant that the 18-year-old was in a perfect place to sweep home the goals that, firstly, saw United march on in Europe, and, more memorably perhaps, saw Rashford etch his name into the club’s history.

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Leo is a regular contributor to The Peoples Person's match day coverage and is still mourning the loss of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal.