Marcus Rashford again shone on the European stage on Thursday night as he scored a crucial goal in Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Granada.
Bruno Fernandes netted United’s second late on from the penalty spot to hand Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men a strong advantage heading into next Thursday’s return leg at Old Trafford.
Speaking after the game, Solskjaer told BT Sport: “(Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes) have been exceptional, so important for us. It was a very good run by Rashford, he takes the ball fantastically.”
There were some concerns ahead of kick-off about Rashford’s fitness, mainly due to the fact that he was forced to withdraw from international duty with England just last month through injury, and also as a result of the number of on the field minutes he’s accumulated this season – the fifth most across the United squad.
Yet there were no signs of fatigue from the 23-year-old, and he sprung into action from the first whistle. By half-time, he’d registered four shots, successfully completed 17/18 attempted passes and won a respectful 4/9 duels with opponents.
His key contribution was of course his goal though, and that effort took his total in European competitions this season to eight which as highlighted below, is the joint second-highest return for any player this season.
Notably, the only player who’s outperformed Rashford in terms of goals in European competitions is United target, Erling Haaland.
After his assist for Marco Reus on Tuesday night at the Etihad in his side’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, the Dortmund forward has now directly contributed to 12 of his side’s 18 Champions League goals.
Meanwhile, across all competitions, his goal contributions amount to an astonishing overall tally of 41.
As reported by the Manchester Evening News, United are already firmly interested in the Norwegian star.
Yet, knowing that both he and Rashford could finish the season as Europe’s top scorers would further whet the appetite about would both could achieve together if playing in the same team next season.