Home ยป Marcus Rashford’s second half performance vs FC Barcelona far outweighed the first

Marcus Rashford’s second half performance vs FC Barcelona far outweighed the first

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United came from behind again to beat Barcelona in the Europa League and progress through to the last 16.

It was a game of two halves as Barcelona dominated possession in the first half and besides an early chance for Fernandes that was well saved by the keeper, it was Barcelona who had all the chances.

Marcus Rashford was kept quiet out on the left and when United went 1-0 down through Lewandowski’s penalty, it was hard to see how United would turn this one around due to the lack of chances being created.

In the second half though, it was a different story.

Eric ten Hag gave a big team talk, Antony replaced Weghorst and Marcus Rashford switched to a more central position.

Manchester United came alive and Rashford managed to get a foothold on the game in this preferred position.

Although he didn’t get on the score sheet himself, he put in a solid shift in the second half as long balls were played over the top, unleashing him and Antony and Garnacho when he entered play.

Barcelona were really struggling to handle Rashford’s pace and he found himself with a number of chances.

On one occasion, Garnacho burst into the box and squared it to Rashford who was waiting in the middle but it was slightly behind him.

Though his stats don’t tell the full picture, he got two shots off, won two key ground duels and had a 62% pass accuracy. He had 30 touches in total, most of those came in the second half though (stats: sofascore.com).

Robin Van Persie and Paul Scholes in the BT Sport studio were full of praise for the “unique talent” as they spoke after the match.

Fred, who scored United’s opener also looked like a new man in the second half whilst Antony’s impact was undeniable.

Casemiro and Varane put in some vital blocks during the game and De Gea too played his part in making some crucial saves.

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