Marcus Rashford, the 21-year-old megastar for Manchester United, or rather the supposed megastar.
The £58m-rated striker let plenty of chances go begging against Young Boys, and the hot-shot’s season continues to tarnish his reputation that looked so promising when he broke into the senior team.
Jose Mourinho even turned to the stand, looked at his bench, and shook his head in disbelief that Rashford failed to hit the target with an early chance to open the scoring – lifting the ball over the crossbar as the keeper rushed out.
Tuesday night had the chance to turn the tides at Old Trafford. Defeat to local rivals Manchester City, followed by a dismal display at home to Crystal Palace, teed the Champions League affair up perfectly to captivate the Red Devils faithful, but Rashford’s early chance was just an indicator of how badly things would go.
In the end, Marouane Fellaini had to step up in stoppage time to break the deadlock and capture all three points for Mourinho’s men – securing progression through to the Round of 16, when Rashford had the keys to the gate in his pocket all game long.
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Speaking after the match, Mourinho was quoted by the Manchester Evening News saying: “Marcus makes the movements, makes the runs, works hard when the team has the ball and doesn’t have the ball.”
Jose was right, Rashford did put in a shift across the ninety minutes on and off the ball. But it was still far from enough against Young Boys, especially given he was handed the chance to play as the solo-striker despite scoring just two goals for his club this season.
The pacey 5ft 11in forward had been handed the centre-forward slot just three times this season before Tuesday night, mostly making his appearances from the bench and wings, and will, unfortunately, have to impress out wide again to justify starting as the lead man.
According to WhoScored data, Rashford recorded six shots across the game, but only once found the target let alone the back of the net.
Even when the 21-year-old tried to play his team-mates in, he failed to get that right. An attempted cut back to Fellaini was misjudged horrifically, but luckily Fred was there to scoop in and save his attacker’s blushes.
It was a chance to impress for Rashford, but he failed to do so. Only one United player who started the game touched the ball fewer times than the academy star, and that was David De Gea in goal. BSC Young Boys were there for the taking, but the England man was unable to take advantage.