Manchester United closed the gap on fourth-placed Manchester City last weekend, moving within three points of their cross-city rivals as Erik ten Hag’s men comfortably dispatched Leicester City at Old Trafford.
That’s now back-to-back wins for the Dutchman and the perfect preparation for this week’s huge return leg against Barcelona in the Europa League.
Marcus Rashford, the man of the moment, stole the headlines as he scored United’s first two goals, taking his tally to 24 for the campaign.
Bruno Fernandes assisted the first goal and United’s third, scored by Jadon Sancho. Speaking after the game, United’s creative magician was quick to praise Rashford for his form.
“It’s been unbelievable for us,” Bruno said on Rashford, according to the official Manchester United website.
“Obviously, we want to enjoy his moment, carry on, because he’s been really important for us, his goals have been a big part for us.
“Today, again, it was amazing, even sometimes when you can think he’s a little bit out of the game, he can make his runs, he can go in behind, he can out-run people and score because he finishes really well, strong. We have to enjoy his moment and make sure that he carries this on because we have to serve him.”
Rashford has scored 16 goals in his last 17 appearances and at that rate, he is likely to become the first Red to score 30 goals or more in a season since Robin van Persie did so in his maiden campaign (2012/13).
United were steadily improving before Rashford found his potent form but it’s safe to say that they have reached a new level with his goals.
As Fernandes points out, it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep Rashford in this form and the 25-year-old couldn’t have dreamed of a better time to play Barcelona and then a cup final.
The situation surrounding his contract is looming in the background but Rashford will be focusing on improving further on the pitch – we’ll know more about his future in the summer.