A game touted to be difficult ended up a goalfest as Old Trafford witnessed its side beat RB Leipzig 5-0 on Wednesday.
The Champions League encounter was a thoroughly fruitful one for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men with Mason Greenwood’s goal the only highlight from the opening half. However, upon Marcus Rashford’s introduction in the final quarter of the fixture, everything changed.
The English forward went on to net two excellent goals for the side with relative ease. As things were meant to be, United also won a penalty that Anthony Martial made no mistake in netting and to end it all in perfect brilliance, Rashford completed his hattrick in picturesque fashion.
1. Top of the Table
Group H was expected to be a very difficult table for the Premier League outfit but so far they are soaring through with ease. The slim win against PSG had a lot of hope set high and now with this thumping victory United have great momentum in the table.
Presently, they top the tally with their two wins and even PSG’s victory over Istanbul Basaksehir pegs them only at second. If they continue this run then topping the table with games in hand could be an easy affair too soon.
2. 5 Goals Against A Strong Team
Leipzig fancied their chances going into the game precisely because of how good a form they are in presently.
Topping the very Bundesliga table where Bayern Munich enjoy unquestioned superiority is in itself a great feat. To add to that, the side had only conceded three goals in all competitions so far this season up until this fateful meeting.
As such, this battering by United is further impressive and the manner in which the German club made the home side struggle in the opening hour or so is ample proof that this wasn’t as one-sided an affair as initially meets the eye.
3. Naglesmann vs Solskjær
It appears that United’s beloved Norwegian loves to shush the critics by decimating precisely those who are hyped to replace his spot at Old Trafford.
In Julian Nagelsmann, such a contender has always been projected and the gaffer’s tactical excellent do make the praise seem perfectly justified.
However, Solskjær trumped him at his own game, akin to how Thomas Tuchel was bettered. While there is still a lot of room for improvement in the manager’s style and ethos, he clearly is adamant on staying for the long term.
4. VDB Got His Start
The narrative leading up to this fixture largely centered on the lack of playing time that Donny van de Beek has been getting at Manchester United. Solskjær had to openly state and put rumours of alleged unrest to ease in the buildup.
As such, it was great for the 23-year-old Dutchman to have been gifted a start in this fixture ahead of the likes of Bruno Fernandes. His impact was great and the versatility point was stamped with much authority.
It will be interesting to see whether or not he has garnered more regular playing time with such a performance.
5. Rashford Hat-trick
The sheer numbers that go into Rashford’s hattrick alone are dizzying. In terms of impact from the bench, the English forward’s three goals were the quickest ever scored in Champions League history with just 27 minutes in their production.
Further, the hattrick was only the second one that a United player has netted from the bench with the first one coming from none other than Solskjær himself back in 1999. Lastly, this was the club’s first Champions League hattrick since Robin van Persie’s effort in 2014.
Pure excellence from a player who can’t stop sticking to his football.