What Rashford did after scoring against the Blues
Marcus Rashford turned 22 today as the headlines heralded his two goals for Manchester United against Chelsea last night.
His match-winning brace at Stamford Bridge followed a landmark 50th strike for the club, when he converted Daniel James's through ball during the 3-1 victory against Norwich City. After that particular feat, he asked fans on Twitter to guess his favourite goal from his first half-century for the Reds.
Understandably, he chose his derby winner at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium in March 2016, when the Reds clinched an excellent away success.
Few will argue with the Wythenshawe-born forward's personal choice. After all, although nobody will forget the doubles in Marcus's first two games, against Midtjylland and Arsenal, it is worth remembering the goal past City keeper Joe Hart came in only his eighth senior appearance after a whirlwind start to his first-team career.
It was another show of such maturity, combined with the fearlessness and exuberance of youth, that suggested the then 18-year-old was there to stay in United's senior side.
'Fantastic strike on his derby debut!'Video
At the time, Wayne Cahill was one of the striker's teachers at Ashton-on-Mersey School, not far from the Aon Training Complex. He takes up the story of the day after that dream debut goal because while Rashford was on the back page of all the newspapers, he was actually back in the classroom on that Monday morning...
“In the lead-up to the game, I remember Marcus was being taught by one of our teachers who is a big City fan.
“The teacher was taking the mick beforehand, saying: ‘Marcus, if you play this weekend do not embarrass me. You'd better not score.’
“Of course, Marcus did score - he beat [City defender] Martin Demichelis like he wasn’t there and then slotted it past Joe Hart.
“Back in school the very next day, my City-supporting colleague grabbed Marcus in a jokey way and said: ‘I told you not to do that!'
“There was no arrogance from Marcus. He just replied: ‘That’s what I’ve got to do’.
“He just laughed and joked but not to the point where he was being big-headed. There was never a feeling that he was being arrogant. He just got on with it but was willing to chat about all of it and I remember teaching him and asking him: ‘What’s it like playing in front of 75,000 at Old Trafford?’ And he just said it was unbelievable and that the hairs were standing up as he walked out.
“He had fans just chanting and singing and he was overawed with it. He felt like he was a Manchester United fan living his dream and he was just so happy to go and do it.
“The day after the derby was a testament to him and how humble he is. I think there would have been other kids who maybe wouldn’t have come back into college if they'd had the same success as Marcus. At that point, it was the end of the year and he would have achieved what would have been a subsidiary diploma anyway, with the number of units he would have completed.
What Rashford was like in school - by his teacherVideo
“But he set out at the start of his education programme to achieve his BTEC and he made sure he went and did it. The fact that he was off doing what he was doing with United was incredible. The life of this kid at 17 or 18 must have been unbelievable and the humbleness to come in and get a bit of stick from the lads. But that was part of it because, in that group, we had quite a lively bunch with lads who were playing in the Under-18s and Under-23s and then lads who were pushed into the first team or were going out on loan.
“When we’d come in on a Monday morning we’d always have 10 minutes before lessons where we’d talk about the game and it was completely normal for these boys involved with the Under-18s and youth teams to talk about playing at the Aon Training Complex, or you’d have the Under-23s talking about playing down in London against Arsenal and then you’d have Marcus talking about the first team.
“And it wasn’t people looking and thinking: ‘Oh my god, look at what you’re doing’, it was just a normal conversation where they talked about what they’d done over the weekend.
“It was perfectly normal and I think that helped him, that normality, and that he wasn’t a superstar yet. He just got on with everything as with anything we ever asked him to do. He was a credit to the programme at Ashton-on-Mersey School.”
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