Was it a Manchester derby blessed with pace, passion and end-to-end action?
Probably not, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t intriguing, as, arguably, this was one of the most vital derby wins for Manchester United in years, and it was all thanks to another one of their teenage protégés.
Despite facing a barrage of flack and criticism for the majority of his Man United tenure, Louis van Gaal hasn’t been afraid to give his young guns the chance to shine on the big stage. And most of the time, his teenage team have repaid that faith, performing well on their debuts.
And none have had a brighter start to being a Red Devil than Marcus Rashford, who scored four times in two games to begin with before following that up with the all-important derby-day goal on Sunday.
United fans are raving about the 18-year-old, who became United’s youngest ever scorer in the Manchester derby, and rightly so. He’s shown some fantastic traits and I’m sure if his development continues at this rate, his form could be a massive plus point for the England national team, too.
But with fantastic form at such an age comes the frustration. Every player has barren spells and although Rashford hasn’t been on the scene for too long just yet, there will be a point when the goals will dry up and people will begin to question whether the youngster should be in and around the first-team.
Even before the game against Manchester City, Sky Sports pundits were suggesting that Rashford shouldn’t have been given as much game time as he has enjoyed, to which he duly replied by skinning Martin Demichelis and banging in the winner.
But seriously, can the youngster keep up his rich vein of form?
Many United fans would like to think so, but its a big ask. Yet when you see the goal he scored against City, it’s hard to doubt the youngster. It was the sort of goal Thierry Henry used to score on a weekly basis, and it really did offer Van Gaal a lifeline – which he sorely needed after the Europa League defeat to Liverpool.
The goal also took Rashford’s tally to five in eight games, and for anyone doubting the teenager, this is already more than what Radamel Falcao could manage during his barren spell at Old Trafford.
It almost seemed written for Rashford to grab the limelight. He was the only Mancunian in the match day squad, and as a local lad, he looked up for it from the off.
He’s successfully pushed United’s big-money buy Anthony Martial out to the wing, and that is proof that Van Gaal trusts in his player’s ability to play centrally. Rashford has frightening pace, passion to boot and a keen eye for goal.
Yes the pause in form will come, but it’s important that United fans keep behind their young striker and moot him for further glory.
He’s going to be special.