Marcus Rashford produced a truly scintillating performance during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.
The youngster handed a rare start at No.9, placed Chelsea on the back foot after just seven minutes, sprinting in behind their defence before sending Man United into the lead with a wonderfully executed finish past Asmir Begovic.
Rashford, alongside Jesse Lingard, went on to harass the league leaders all afternoon, stretching Gary Cahill and David Luiz to almost breaking point with a series of direct, powerful runs.
A glance at his stats demonstrate exactly why Rashford, when being replaced by Zlatan Ibrahimovic with ten minutes left, received a standing ovation from the Old Trafford faithful.
Rashford's game by numbers vs. Chelsea:
1 key pass
100% tackles won
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 16, 2017
Luiz and Cahill have not become unstuck very often this season. They have, along with the rest of Antonio Conte’s men, fought their way to top spot through virtue of organisation and strength at every turn.
When pitted against the raw, unyielding power of Rashford, however, it was nowhere near enough. The sight of a fearless, almost old-fashioned menace – somehow aged just 19 – was terrifying for Chelsea’s back four. He has actually played more games than Chelsea as a collective this season, but Conte’s men just couldn’t cope with his energy at all. Truly sublime and, as supporters will hope, just the start.