A year and a day ago the name Marcus Rashford wouldn’t have meant much to even the most ardent Man United fan.
But all that changed on Thursday 25 February 2016 when the Wythenshawe-born local lad scored twice in the Europa League against FC Midtjylland to help a beleaguered Louis van Gaal.
Rashford’s ability to score on any and every debut presented to him would become as predictable as Van Gaal’s build up play.
So let’s reminisce on those moments when Rashford cemented himself as a fan favourite.
Europa League (25/02/2016)
With United trailing 2-1 from the first-leg Rashford wasted little time in clawing the tieback.
His first goal showcased excellent movement and pace to beat Midtjylland’s defenders to a Juan Mata cut-back, while the second was a clinical finish off Memphis Depay’s cross.
A star was well and truly born, but surely he couldn’t do it against a better level of opposition?
Premier League (28/02/2016)
Arsenal. Laurent Koscielny. Petr Cech. Levels raised.
But Rashford laughed in the face of any doubters, slamming home after Gabriel’s failed clearance.
Three minutes later he was at it again. Jesse Lingard crossed into the box for Rashford, who got in between Koscielny and Gabriel to head into the far corner.
Does this lad only do doubles?
Manchester derby (20/03/2016)
How would Rashford handle the ferocity of a Manchester derby?
Ask Martin Demichelis. Fifteen minutes into the game the Argentinian found himself sitting on the ground, thinking about life, having been nutmegged by Rashford.
Having gone straight through Demichelis, a man with half a century of caps for Argentina, the teenager then slipped the ball under England’s number one, Joe Hart. Is it always this easy?
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Before Iceland, before Sam Allardyce’s pint of wine, there was just a bubbling wave of enthusiasm heading into Euro 2016.
Rashford secured his place on the plane, with accompanying window seat, thanks to a goal in his third minute of international football.
It was an unerring volley which flashed into the back of the net, sending Wayne Rooney into a giddy fit of giggles on the England bench. Happier times.
England Under-21 (06/09/2016)
Rashford’s meteoric rise was such that he was the star of the show when Norway’s Under-21s rolled into town, rather than Real Madrid wünderkid Martin Odegaard.
Having been too much for most senior players to handle, Rashord thrashed in a hat-trick of goals, the first of which was Thierry Henry-esque in the burst of pace and measured finish.
Rashford’s second was a deflection, which came about as the defender was too scared to get tight and close him down, while the third came from the penalty spot.
League Cup (21/09/2016)
Rashford was essentially a veteran by the time his League Cup debut came about this season, in a regulation 3-1 win against Northampton Town.
If some of world football’s best defenders couldn’t handle him, what chance did Zander Diamond have?
It was definitely the easiest goal of his career, with Adam Smith swinging and missing in the Northamton goal to leave Rashford with an empty net.
They all count.
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