Marcus Rashford comes off the bench to score a hat-trick in a 5-0 Champions League win at Old Trafford

Champions League: Marcus Rashford Delivers Five-Star Performance for United

Manchester United 5-0 RB Leipzig

Marcus Rashford came off the bench and churned out a hat-trick to tow Manchester United on top of Group H with their victory over last season’s Champions League semifinalists in RB Leipzig last Wednesday night.

Manchester United, who’s had some struggles at home prior to this game, were simply phenomenal on both sides of the pitch which led to the 5-0 scoreline.

Other than Marcus Rashford’s hat-trick, fellow strikers Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood stepped up big time as they also joined in the scoring party.

The Champions League 2020 odds had the Red Devils winning, albeit via a slim margin, which is why this victory was a pleasant surprise especially for this SBOTOP writer.

Seeing them suffer one of their biggest home setbacks against Tottenham few weeks ago, football pundits weren’t really confident about United’s chances against the hard-charging Red Bulls.

Their last home match ended in a goalless draw against Chelsea, so it was clear that momentum wasn’t on the side of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.

There are so many Champions League 2020 highlights to choose from on this one, so let’s recap all of them one by one.

 

Highlights of the game

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made changes to his lineup once more as he adopted a 4-3-1-2 formation.

He brought back the centre-back duo of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, and then he finally placed Donny van de Beek in the starting lineup for the third time ever.

As for the Red Bulls, they also adopted a similar formation. But unlike in their last Bundesliga game, Julian Nagelsmann featured Yussuf Poulsen and Emil Forsberg as their main attackers.

Fred generated United’s first chance of the match when the ball went his way inside the penalty area. However, his shot to the right side was blocked away by Peter Gulacsi.

15 minutes after Fred’s chance earlier, Manchester United would draw first blood when teenage forward Mason Greenwood scored his first goal of the tournament with a low finish after receiving a lovely through ball from Paul Pogba.

Anthony Martial was Manchester United's designated penalty taker in their 5-0 Champions League win against RB Leipzig

Anthony Martial scores Manchester United’s fourth goal from the penalty spot against RB Leipzig at Old Trafford

RB Leipzig would try to draw level via a counter attack in the 23rd minute, but United’s defence was quick to get back and David de Gea blocked a shot from Christopher Nkunku.

Manchester United’s defence was great all evening and they made life hard for RB Leipzig, who are well-known as a formidable attacking side.

Donny van de Beek almost scored his first goal of the competition in the 62nd minute when Anthony Martial slipped a pass inside the box, but he was tripped and Peter Gulacsi picked the ball up for the save.

With the Red Devils looking to ice the game, they brought in Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes and the former delivered. Rashford would score two quick goals in a span of only five minutes.

In the 74th minute, United’s defence generated a counter attacking opportunity, which led to Marcus Rashford slotting the ball home after going one-on-one versus Peter Gulacsi.

Four minutes later, Rashford put in a screamer when he would dissect RB Leipzig’s defence once more after they failed to clear the ball out.

Anthony Martial would open his account when he drew a penalty call in the 85th minute from Marcel Sabitzer, and he would proceed to finish on to the left corner of the net.

Marcus Rashford, who was awarded an MBE citation days ago, would show his class once more when he drilled in his third goal of the evening in stoppage time to cap off his superb performance.

 

 

Key statistics

Since the 6-1 humilation versus Tottenham, Manchester United have recorded three victories and a draw while featuring two clean sheets.

Marcus Rashford became the second-ever United player to score a hat-trick as a substitute since his manager did so back in 1999 versus Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.

RB Leipzig’s 5-0 defeat was their toughest loss in their short history in European competition, while the same scoreline was Manchester United’s biggest win since 2013 against Bayer Leverkusen.

Mason Greenwood became the third youngest United player to have scored a Champions League goal (19 years, 27 days). The other two were Wayne Rooney (18 years, 340 days) and Brian Kidd (18 years, 275 days).

 

What’s next?

Manchester United will host Arsenal on Monday at Old Trafford while RB Leipzig visit Borussia Monchengladbach in their next Bundesliga fixture on Sunday.

 

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