England began their 2022 World Cup campaign by securing a comfortable 6-1 win over Iran in a Group B contest at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday.
Both Maguire and Shaw registered an assist, both in the first-half while Rashford came on in the second-half and scored within a minute of his introduction.
Commanding Maguire show
There was a lot of conjecture over the Three Lions’ starting line-up with many pundits appealing to Gareth Southgate to not pick under-performing Maguire.
The United skipper has had a poor last 12 months and ever since Erik ten Hag took over the reigns at the Old Trafford outfit, he has lost his place in the starting XI.
But Southgate persisted with the centre-back and he did not disappoint. He was immense during set-pieces and defended impeccably for most of the time he was on the pitch.
It could have been even better for the 29-year-old but one penalty appeal was waved away despite footage later confirming that he was held on to.
Marcus Rashford scores his first World Cup goal. He now has 9 goals and 3 assists in all competitions for Manchester United and England this season.
Back with a bang. 💥 pic.twitter.com/Y3JP800P01
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 21, 2022
The former Leicester City man also inches away from registering a goal as well as he hit the bar from a corner with a powerful header with the goalkeeper well beaten.
Shaw has been a man reborn under Ten Hag and carried on in the same vein as his pin-point cross was headed home by United transfer target Jude Bellingham.
This was Shaw’s third assist of the season and his crossing ability has been used to great effect by the United manager and the same was on display on Monday.
ETH tactics replicated by Shaw and Rashford
Rashford will count himself unlucky to not have started the contest but did his chances of starting in the next game no harm with a fine cameo.
The United academy graduate has been United’s top scorer and he showed his goalscoring touch with a goal as soon as he came on.
He feigned to shot before calmly slotting home, a finish Ten Hag would be hoping the striker can replicate in United colours. His penchant for going for power instead of finesse has frustrated fans for long.
But against Iran, he demonstrated his calmness with his finish. A few flicks and tricks were impressive and he could have got one more but for some fine defending from the opponents.
United will be hoping to get back a rejuventated Maguire post the World Cup while Shaw’s and Rashford’s displays vindicated Ten Hag’s trust in them this season.