Rashford explains Reds' mentality in Milan
Marcus Rashford has suggested Manchester United will attack AC Milan in a bid to get the goals that can clinch a place in Friday's Europa League quarter-final draw.
The Reds face the Rossoneri at the San Siro with the tie delicately poised after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. While some claim the Serie A side have the advantage after Simon Kjaer's late away goal in Manchester, perhaps that is reckoning without the capabilities of a team that has been excellent on the road for over a year now.
And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have 90 minutes to find the net ourselves. Two goals would, of course, mean a draw would be enough to take United through. Although Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani are out, Marcus Rashford has outlined why a bold approach could reap benefits in this situation.
"This is the business end of the season, the bit that’s going to determine whether we go on to win trophies or not," the England international told club media. "So everyone is mentally prepared for this next period.
“I think we’ll go there to score goals and to win the game and we see it as a game for what it is. Basically, right now, it’s a one-off game and whoever scores goals is going to go through. We’ll go there with that mentality.”
Rashford has 17 goals to his name in European competition for the club, more than any of his current colleagues, and another one tonight would move him into outright third in the list of the Reds' leading marksmen in the Fairs Cup/UEFA Cup/Europa League, behind legends Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton.
If the attacking line-up is similar to the one used against West Ham United, last time out in the Premier League, he will start on the left with fellow Academy graduate Mason Greenwood down the middle.
It will be a far cry from the experience in Milan's attack if Zlatan Ibrahimovic is named in the line-up. At the age of 39, the Swede has come out of international retirement this week and been declared fit to return from injury this evening.
Marcus wants his former team-mate to play, despite his obvious threat, and hopefully the general trend of a new attacking guard emerging in European competition will continue with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland eclipsing even Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo recently. The question will be can Greenwood and Rashford overshadow a giant presence like Zlatan on his home turf?
"It’s nice to see him again and, for us, hopefully he manages to play as it’s going to be a great game and big players make games even better," said Marcus of the veteran striker.
“He helped me a lot, seeing the way he prepares to get himself ready mentally for each game. He’s a different type of animal, mentally and physically as well. He brought that fighting experience to our squad and has done the same at Milan, to be fair.”