Pure Genius: Manchester United’s man of the match vs Anderlecht

Manchester United made hard work of their game against Anderlecht at Old Trafford on Thursday night in the Europa League quarter-final second leg.

The way that they flew out of the traps suggested that there was a chasm in class between the two sides and the comparative budgets would also back that up.

But as has been the way for so much of this season Manchester United found it hard to break down opponents of supposedly lower calibre.

They couldn’t capitalise on their early goal and the speed of the attack definitely needs addressing in the summer.

Because teams like Chelsea and Manchester City often come up against opponents who park the bus too. But they have far fewer problems in breaking through the back lines with quick passing, direct play and ruthless finishing.

That said, Manchester United did play with real purpose in patches and had a couple of really good performances in the side. Ultimately, it’s difficult to look past Marcus Rashford as Manchester United’s man of the match.

Not only did he quicken the pulses of Manchester United fans like no other player on the park when he got the ball. But he also had the decisive moment in the game. For someone of such tender years it’s amazing to see how composed he is on the ball. With one move he flummoxed two defenders, dragged the ball back through his legs and hit the winner with his weaker left foot to consign Anderlecht to the history books of the Europa League this season.

Rashford probably wouldn’t force his way into the side at number nine if Zlatan was fit. But perhaps the twisted knee of the Swede will open the door for Rashford to have a sensational and glorious end to the season for Manchester United.

Man of The Match: Marcus Rashford