Gary Neville: Marcus Rashford influenced the game more than any other player

by Leo Nieboer

Gary Neville handed Marcus Rashford the Man of the Match award following Manchester United’s 2-0 win over West Ham United, insisting nobody influenced the game more than the youngster.

The 19-year-old, with his side struggling to break down a dogged West Ham side (reduced to ten men following Sofiane Feghouli’s controversial red card in the 15th minute), replaced Jesse Lingard after 58 minutes.

Rashford influence was immediate and game-changing: five minutes later, the Englishman burst into box, turned, turned again, left two defenders on the floor and set up Juan Mata for Man United’s opener.

Neville, speaking after the game, explained why Rashford deserved the Man of the Match award.

“I’m going to give it [man of the match] to Rashford,” he said.

“He’s influenced the outcome of the match more than any other Manchester United player. Since he came on he turned West Ham, he set up the first goal and has been a big influence.”

The youngster hasn’t made a start since United’s 1-1 draw with West Ham back in November, reduced to the occasional substitute appearance. He was, dare it say it, starting to dip under the radar.

Then again, Rashford has no interest in quietly going about his business. He rose to prominence through producing moments of mesmerising, game-changing brilliance – not through churning out a series of ‘solid’ performances.

And here he was again, bursting out of nowhere to single handedly bend the game in United’s favour.

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