Marcus Rashford in the spotlight.

Rashford's mind is fixed only on beating Arsenal

The visit of Arsenal to Old Trafford conjures life-changing memories for Marcus Rashford, who famously scored twice against the Gunners on his Premier League debut, yet the Manchester United striker is in no mood for reminiscing before tonight’s vital game under the lights.

The Reds are determined to secure a positive result against the in-form North Londoners and move up the table, vitally closing the gap on the teams currently positioned in the division’s top four and those Champions League qualification places. 

It really is a pivotal fixture for the club and Rashford hopes to be involved, despite the slight injury that forced him to be substituted during Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Southampton at St. Mary’s.
Video
Rashford celebrating a goal against Arsenal with Mata.
Watch Marcus Rashford's two goals against Arsenal from his Premier League debut in February 2016.
“It’s a game that holds a special place for me, playing against Arsenal at Old Trafford,”
Marcus says, referring back to that February 2016 victory when he scored twice as an unknown teenager.  

“But it’s almost a different Arsenal side now, they’re playing better football, they’re a more aggressive team and looking at them now they’re one of the strongest teams in the league. We have to take all that into account and no matter what happens we have to try to get the three points.”
There was a feeling of frustration in the United camp at the weekend following the 2-2 draw at Southampton, where the team conceded two early goals but admirably fought back to equalise by half-time, before playing out a second half in which a much-desired winner could not be found. 

“It was disappointing and we paid the price for not starting how we should have started,”
explains Rashford, who set up our goals for Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera.
“We grew into the game, especially in the first half when we were creating chances and starting to play better football, but we can’t expect to start games in the way we did that one and get three points. We have to do better.”

Highlights: Southampton 2 United 2 Video

Rashford’s two assists at St. Mary’s Stadium provided a small positive for the 21-year-old, who showed great strength to outmuscle a couple of defenders in the creation of both goals. 

That physicality is something Marcus did not have when he made that 2016 debut against Arsenal and, as he explains ahead of this evening’s kick-off at Old Trafford, it’s something he is working on. 

“I’m still growing so naturally it’s improving. I’m not having to do lots of extra-hard work off the pitch or in the gym. I do little bits and those little bits of natural growth mean that’s going well.”

You can watch the full interview with Marcus Rashford in MUTV's pre-match build-up. The live show begins at 18:30 GMT.