Paul Pogba explains what Marcus Rashford told him before his brilliant free kick

by Tanveer Arayan

Paul Pogba has revealed that Marcus Rashford told him he would score the free kick that handed Manchester United a first leg 1-0 win over Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-final.

The 19-year-old had gone close in the first half with a curling strike that was expertly palmed away by the impressive Sergio Alvarez.

But he would not be denied again when, after being brought down outside the box, the 19-year-old powered home a swerving, dipping drive into the top far corner in the 67th minute.

And Pogba, normally the one to take free kicks in Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s absence, noted that Rashford told him he would score moments before giving Man United the lead.

“When he took that free-kick, he told me he was going to score and he put it in so that’s the most important thing,” he said.

“We had a lot of chances, it’s happened a lot of times this season, but we have to carry on working on it and keep creating chances.”

Rashford has let his football do the talking during the opening stages of his career. No real antics on or off the pitch – just hard work, quietly done with more or less the same expression. He is a naturally grounded individual with a small circle of friends; his brother, after all, acts as his agent, which tells you plenty.

But the watching world saw a different side to Rashford on Thursday night. He may be just 19, but the Englishman has started to espouse a sense of seniority – a kind of presence normally reserved for established talents. The very fact that he pulled rank over Pogba – the world’s most expensive player – for the free kick demonstrates a willingness to be the best, to make headlines and fear nobody. Many players falter at this level; Rashford makes the stage his own.

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