Rashford leads Europe's charts for nutmegs
Marcus Rashford showcased some stunning skills during Manchester United’s 3-1 victory over Burnley on Sunday.
A majestic elastico, which bamboozled Clarets defender James Tarkowski, was arguably the most spellbinding, but our no.10 also produced a nutmeg on full-back Matt Lowton in the build-up to Mason Greenwood’s opening goal.
It’s a skill we’ve become accustomed to seeing the England international pull off, drawing players in and then playing the ball through their legs and sprinting off down the left flank.
And FBRef.com stats reveal that Rashford is currently the king of the nutmeg in Europe’s top-five leagues in 2020/21, a crown he is hoping to retain after also topping the charts (with 13) last season.
Marcus has tormented opponents this term, registering a pretty impressive 18 nutmegs across 32 Premier League appearances – or one every 144 minutes!
The closest challenger on a continental level is Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar. The Brazilian has played fewer games owing to injury and suspension but has pulled off the trick 14 times in Ligue 1, which is one more than team-mate Kylian Mbappe.
Also on 13 are Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski and Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund, while former Manchester City man Leroy Sane has ‘megged’ players on 11 occasions.
Rashford’s penchant for this particular piece of play is even more stark when compared to his Premier League peers.
Ademola Lookman, who joined Fulham on loan from RB Leipzig in September, has nine nutmegs for this term, followed by West Bromwich Albion’s Matheus Pereira on eight.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Rashford post-match for playing through a foot injury, particularly singling out his second-half performance.
“I asked him how he was, because he played so well and I think because he played so well and he felt good out there he was trying to force 90 minutes out of himself but he said it was too sore,” Solskjaer said in his press conference.
“It is pain that comes after he has played for 60-70 minutes. He lasted for 80 today so that is progress.
“I thought he played so well in the second half. He made some great runs in the first half as well but we couldn’t find him but in the end Donny [van de Beek] had to come on for him and Donny played well so I was pleased with that one.”