Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford continues to be in fine form, but are the Red Devils legitimate Premier League contenders?

Manchester United again left him behind but Marcus Rashford sparked a 2-0 win over Leeds United on Sunday. Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho found the back of the net in the dying minutes, but it was a closer game than the final scoreline suggested. It was a win that also temporarily put United second in the league as Erik ten Hag’s club turnaround continues to show that.

Much like the last game against Leeds United, which was Wednesday, the Red Devils struggled in the first half to get into the break level at 0-0, but they would burst out in big fashion in the second half. Ten Hag brought Luke Shaw back to left-back after starting the game in the middle while introducing Garnacho for Jadon Sancho in a move that paid off immediately. Five minutes saw Rashford and Garnacho put the game out of sight while Shaw’s assist to Rashford was excellent.

Scoring his 13th goal in all competitions since the World Cup break, Rashford’s improvement under the Hag ten was one of the driving forces behind Manchester United’s rise to prominence.

Here’s what you need to know:

Rashford’s rebound continues

After one of the worst seasons of his career last term with just four goals and two assists, Manchester United may have left Rashford. But instead, ten Hag handed him more responsibility following Cristiano Rondalo’s dismissal from the club. Rashford has rewarded that and then some with seven game-changing Premier League goals this season. Counting the decisive goals or the goals that turn a defeat into a draw, that’s where strikers make their living and Rashford did, and then some for United.

Whether it’s leveling things up in a critical win over Arsenal before scoring a decisive goal, defending rivals Manchester City or sinking Leeds United, it’s not like Rashford has done that in easier games either, as he is ready for every game despite the uncertainty. in the queue around him. It is also down to the preparation of ten Hag who usually started Rashford on the left wing before sliding him through the middle if the game called for it.

Preparation is everything

The difference under ten Hag is clear as United come into each game well prepared for what the opposition will throw at them. Even with Christian Eriksen and Anthony Martial injured, ten Hag has been able to get the most out of his squad even with United having to dig deep, calling on their youth this season. Apart from Rashford, United’s wingers have failed to live up to expectations, but that hasn’t stopped ten Hag from shaking up the attack with changes like the one he made against Leeds United.

If not for a couple of close offside calls, United could have gone ahead 4-0 or more in the second half as the manager pressed all the right buttons to get Rashford into space with the side that had him. supports. With a talisman as fit as Rashford, it’s up to the manager to make sure he can get things done and ten Hag has done exactly what will be important with Barcelona looming on the horizon. Another draw against Leeds wouldn’t have been good for team morale, but a win like this gives so much confidence.

Is Manchester United real?

It depends on the context of the realization. In the Premier League, their title hopes are pretty slim. Having played two more games than league leaders Arsenal, the Red Devils are still five points behind them in the league with little hope of catching up. Manchester City will also have a game in hand against United. But the team feels like a lock for a top-four spot while also having some routes to silverware this season.

United have already booked a place in the EFL Cup final and are still in the Europa League and FA Cup, giving them plenty of meaningful games to close out the season even if they are not in contention for the title. With the platform building, if United manage to finish in the top four while winning a trophy, the summer could be long enough for ten Hags.

Leave a Comment