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Even on a bad day Marcus Rashford proves he is one of the best in the Premier League

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Manchester United moved up three points to the top of the Premier League table on Tuesday thanks to a 1-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor, in a game decided by one moment of quality.

The first half was bizarre, with VAR stepping in on several occasions to keep the game going scoreless, before United dominated the second half. As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side tried to break through Burnley’s strong defense, they looked at the quality options they had on offense.

Edinson Cavani had a fairly calm night, nothing really worked for Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes just didn’t click during the game. Marcus Rashford was arguably the worst of the four, struggling to beat his man on the right side, but it was he who held the keys to the three points.

Despite a relatively poor performance, the 23-year-old picked up the ball on the right and found Paul Pogba with an accurate cross for the Frenchman to bring back the winning goal. It was Rashford’s 50th goal since the start of the 2019/20 season (36 goals, 14 assists) and it means he has now been directly involved in 50% of United’s goals away from home in this campaign.

It is an honor for the player that despite a poor performance, he always had an influence on the winning matches. It’s something he isn’t given enough credit for, but it’s what top players consistently do.

He did so against Wolves, scoring the game-winning goal in the 94th minute after what was a rather scorching display from everyone that night. He did so against Sheffield United when the club lost 1-0 early on to bring the team back in a game they won.

This is often the sign of a championship winning team when they can play badly but still come out with a result, but it is the sign of a top player who can do the same on an individual basis. .

When Mohamed Salah plays badly, he inevitably always ends up on the scoresheet. When Kevin De Bruyne doesn’t quite click, it’s inevitable that he comes up with a division defense pass to help Manchester City get points. Rashford enters this important area for United.

While the focus is on Fernandes, and rightly so, Rashford goes about his business quietly and makes sure his numbers match those of these top players. He has 14 goals this season in all competitions for United, improved only by Fernandes and just eight goals short of his total for all of last season.

Since 2019/20, Rashford has made 48 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 24 goals and registering 12 assists. Overall, this represents more contributions to the goals than Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Christian Pulisic and Anthony Martial during the same period.

Marcus Rashford
Rashford among Premier League player superstars | Michael Regan / Getty Images

He’s a threat as long as he’s on the pitch whether it works for him or not, because he has such a wide range of skills. Whether it’s running over players with his pace and skill, or connecting play to his passes in crowded areas, or using his excellent ball-hitting technique to cross or shoot from a distance, he Always makes defenders think and work hard.

Work outside Rashford’s grounds to give children free school meals even when they are not in school has earned him an MBE and rave reviews across the UK. He’s a household name even away from football now because of it, but his performance on the pitch doesn’t suffer – despite what some weird takes will make you think.

He is the face of United, on and off the pitch, and if the charge for the league title is to continue you can almost guarantee Rashford will be involved in a significant way.