How Solskjaer’s Instructions Led To Marcus Rashford Hat-trick

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates with the match ball.

REUTERS/Phil Noble

Marcus Rashford stole all the headlines and talking points as he netted a beautiful hat-trick to seal Manchester United’s Champions League tie against RB Leipzig 5-0 on Wednesday.

Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial were the other two names on the scoresheet but until Rashford’s introduction in the final portion of the game, the scoreline had remained 1-0.

As such, the Solskjær-esque brilliance of the late flurry of goals from a substitute was perhaps actually engineered by the attack-oriented gaffer himself.

Rashford revealed as much in his post-match interview to BT Sport: “The manager told us when we came on to try and up the tempo. That for us means going forward. There was definitely spaces there.”

The 22-year-old goes on to add the specific team dynamics that led to the bombardment of goals following the fresh substitutions:  “We got Bruno [Fernandes] and [Paul] Paul on the ball, Anto running forward and we looked dangerous throughout and felt that we could score every time we went forward.”

Certainly speaks volumes about the youngster’s attitude that he attributed the team chemistry for his hat-trick. This was also seen by the manner in which he let Martial take the late penalty despite being on a hat-trick himself.

Further, the Englishman was also pivotal to bringing about the attacking dynamics. The precedent set by his goals alone speak it as it was the first time since 2014 that a United player had scored a hat-trick in the Champions League. That prior feat of excellence came from Robin van Persie.

However, on a deeper note, Rashford has become only the second United player to net a hat-trick after coming on from the bench. The first one is unsurprisingly Solskjær himself in the memorable goal-heavy fixture against Nottingham Forest back in 1999.

Attacking football is back and it may be here to stay.