Teenage striker Marcus Rashford strikes twice as Red Devils beat Arsenal 3-2 to dent their hopes of a first EPL title in over a decade
Manchester: Teenage forward Marcus Rashford's dream start to life at Manchester United continued yesterday as he scored two goals in his team's 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford.
Red hot: Man United striker Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring his second goal against Arsenal in an EPL match at Old Trafford yesterday. Pic/AFP
The win represented Louis van Gaal's third win in three competitions, over the past six days, but more significantly, hurt Arsene Wenger's hopes of winning Arsenal's first league title in 12 years. The 18-year-old forward, who scored twice in the mid-week Europa League win over Midtjylland, was on the mark again in the first half, beating Petr Cech on two occasions.
2 goals in 3 minutes
The goals came within three minutes of each other as United delivered a serious blow to Wenger's aim of narrowing the five-point gap that leaders Leicester City had before kick-off. After 29 minutes, Ander Herrera started a move with a telling tackle on Theo Walcott, sparking a counter-attack that ended with Guillermo Varela crossing from the right and Gabriel hacking a poor clearance directly to Rashford. The teenager did the rest with a composed finish from a dozen yards, his first EPL shot resulting in his first goal.
Arsenal's poor defending was exposed again, from the next serious foray into their territory with Varela making an important header to keep the ball in play. Jesse Lingard picked out Rashford, who again slipped his marker Gabriel, and headed past the diving Petr Cech.
Wenger looked stunned on the Arsenal bench. However, pulled an important goal back before the interval through former United striker Danny Welbeck. Mesut Ozil's inch-perfect free-kick from midway inside the United half found Welbeck, who headed past David de Gea.
United got their third goal in the 65th minute, with Rashford laying it back for Herrera just outside the area. The Spanish midfielder's crisp shot might was saved by Cech, but a strong deflection off Laurent Koscielny gave the Arsenal 'keeper no chance.
Arsenal responded, from Sanchez's right-wing cross on 69 minutes, which found Welbeck on the six-yard line for a shot that was blocked by De Gea. The rebound fell for Ozil, who got it past the diving De Gea.