Rashford's timely return to form could be massive

Thursday 20 January 2022 11:45

Marcus Rashford returned to the Manchester United side during Wednesday night's victory at Brentford, and provided a timely boost for Ralf Rangnick with an impressive goalscoring cameo.

The forward was in the midst of his longest spell without a goal, having appeared in 11 fruitless matches since finding the net against Tottenham Hotspur in late October.
But he roared back to life at the Brentford Community Stadium, blasting past Jonas Lossl just six minutes after replacing Mason Greenwood to give the Reds an unassailable 3-0 lead.
It was a pleasing sight for United fans for a number of reasons, and could be crucial moment for Rashford's season.
Rashford puts Brentford to bed Video

Rashford puts Brentford to bed

Marcus Rashford came on to seal the points at Brentford in January from a Bruno Fernandes assist...

Why? Well, to put it simply: no Manchester United player has scored more goals for the club in the last few years. Rashford has been one of the team's driving forces – and during several very difficult periods, too.
Our no.10 posted 55 goals under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – more than any other player. Of the current squad, only Cristiano Ronaldo has more United goals (132) than his 92, and it must be said that the Portuguese did, of course, plunder the majority of his haul during the years of plenty under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The cool finish at Brentford also underlined Rashford's outstanding value as a squad player. The England international can deliver from the start or off the bench; from a range of different positions. Here, for example, he converted from a less-favoured role on the right wing.
The goal meant he became just the third Red to reach double figures for Premier League goals scored as a United substitute. He follows in the footsteps of his former manager Solskjaer (17) and our ex-striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez (14).
Rashford has long been one of the most selfless professionals at the club.
His off-the-pitch endeavours are legendary but, on it, he has put United first on numerous occasions. Indeed, part of the reason he missed the first few months of this campaign was to undergo a long overdue operation, which he chose to delay to help the club at the tail end of 2020/21.
90 in 20: Brentford 1 United 3 Video

90 in 20: Brentford 1 United 3

Treat yourself to extended highlights of our impressive Premier League win at Brentford...

"The decisions I made to play with what I had were my decisions," he told United Review earlier this month. "If you make those decisions for yourself then you’re accountable for what the consequences will be.
“I knew I needed to get an operation at some stage. We had big games coming up in the league and Champions League [last season] and I had a conversation with Ole at the time and I said to him: ‘If you need me on the pitch, then I know I can make a difference in different ways.’
“That’s what we did; we got through it, and I think I finished on 21 goals last season, which I think shows that I can still be effective even with the few issues that I had.”

United achieve landmark Premier League win


Our victory at Brentford will live in the memory for more reasons than one, as the Reds set a new record.

Rashford deserves appreciation for that decision and, perhaps even more than gratitude, he is owed a bit of time to refind his best football.
Let's hope that Wednesday night's cathartic moment at the Brentford Community Stadium is the catalyst for the kind of goal return we've seen during the last two campaigns, when he delivered 22 and 21 strikes, respectively.
Rashford explained to UR that he has, at last, put his injury niggles behind him, so there's every chance of that happening.
“I just feel so free and I’m looking forward to the games,” he said. “Because it’s been a long time since I’ve been completely free of injuries.”
The instant impact he made in south-west London certainly underlined that to be the case. Let's hope there's much more to come during the remainder of 2021/22.