Having netted his 16th goal of the season in the victory over Burnley, Marcus Rashford no doubt came into the game against Arsenal on Wednesday night with a feeling of excitement. The England international appeared to have hit his stride again in recent weeks, netting nine times in his previous 12 Premier League games.
And in coming up against a Gunners side that had conceded 30 goals from their opening 20 top-flight games, he would have been very confident of keeping his good run going. Instead, just like the rest of his teammates, he drew a disappointing blank, with the north Londoners snuffing out any opportunities for him to shine.
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As per Sofascore, his 5.9 match rating was the worst of any player on the pitch at the Emirates, and when looking at the underlying numbers behind his performance, it is easy to see why. As the Gunners pressed and hustled with intensity, Rashford simply couldn’t cope with the extra pressure on him, winning just one of his ten total duels on the night.
It was also no surprise to see him lose possession a staggering 14 times over the course of the 90 minutes, whilst when he did have the ball at his feet, he was unable to do anything with it. He provided no key passes, scored with none of his three attempts on goal, and failed to make any successful crosses too. It was an evening where he was bereft of any real service and that will no doubt be worrying for not only him, but for his manager too.
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The Gunners pocketed him with relative ease, and any runs in behind that he did make, his teammates failed to see him, or have the required quality to actually make it to him. It was a night to forget for United, but a complete and utter nightmare for Rashford himself. Solskjaer will be concerned about how the rest of the team failed to get the best out of him, and what happens when situations similar to the one on Wednesday night occur.
Just like all attacking players, they need service and good quality to thrive. If the Norwegian can’t find a way to provide Rashford with that other than through simple counter-attacks, then there may be testing times ahead.