Manchester United and Manchester City, both the teams have a combined total cost of 800 million pounds, and yet the latest Manchester Derby, which was played on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium, was decided by an 18-year-old academy United graduate. Marcus Rashford continues to have a spectacular run of form, and with his habit of scoring in the big games, this lad has saved van Gaal’s job once again, it seems. The Red Devils now sit sixth on the Premier League table with 50 points, but with only 8 games to way and 1 point separating them from Manchester City in 4th place, it is now all to play for as the season approaches a nail biting end. Here are the 3 things we learnt from the game:
1. Marcus and Martial can be United’s next Rooney-Ronaldo
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford seen poised to develop the lethal partnership Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo had under Sir Alex. The Frenchman and the Englishmen are both fantastic on the ball, have incredible pace and above all, are not afraid to run at defenders. Rashford now has five goals in eight appearances for the club, which includes goals on his club, league and derby debuts. Between them, these two can also interchange positions, dropping off and on, which makes life difficult for their markers. Martial is 20 while Rashford is 18, so it’s still early days but rarely have two youngsters excited Old Trafford as much these two have already in their debut seasons.
2. A Michael Carrick replacement is sorely needed
Carrick was excellent last night, as he picked passes with precision and often dropped in as a third centre back to contain the explosive Sergio Aguero. While the Englishman is not yet over, yet it is mandatory that United bring someone with his vision and passing ability in central midfield in the summer, as at 34 years if age, it is impractical to believe he can regularly deliver such performances.
3. Smalling can be the future leader.
Chris Smalling had come under criticism of late and rightly so, but he showed once again last night why he can be relied upon when the going gets tough. A solid performance at the back helped him win the Barclay’s Man Of The Match award while his positioning and tackling ensured Sergio Aguero never had a clear sniff of the goal. Although he was lucky not to be sent off late in the match for a late tackle, yet with the season heading towards it’s climax now, one hopes the Englishman keeps leading the back four like he did against the Blue Half Of Manchester.