Finding that elusive goal has been difficult for Marcus Rashford and after the first two games of the season and Manchester United’s ongoing pursuit of Ajax winger Antony, it seemed like judgment day was nearing.
The 24-year-old has come under increasing pressure over the last 12 months but Erik ten Hag kept his faith in the winger and offered him the chance to impress in the historic fixture against Liverpool.
In the past, Rashford has relished the opportunity to play against United’s bitter rivals and has often come out on top when matched against Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.
That pattern was extended at Old Trafford on Monday night but Rashford’s work rate was particularly encouraging to see. The England international was hungry and determined – not one loose ball would escape a sprint to chase it down.
Speaking ahead of the game, Rashford insisted that working hard is one of the ‘non-negotiables of playing for United. His running stats from the win over Liverpool certainly showed that those remarks were far from all talk.
According to stats carried by Sky Sports, via Football Daily, Rashford completed 23 sprints in the game against Liverpool – more than any other player on the pitch for both sides.
For perspective, the entire United team completed 65 sprints in 90 minutes against Brentford ten days ago. Rashford’s output against Liverpool alone is over one-third of that.
It’s now up to Rashford to kick on after a tough 12 months and on Monday’s showing, he looks like a man on a mission to prove the doubters wrong.