Marcus Rashford once again produced an ebullient display against Celta Vigo as Manchester United secured a place in the Europa League final.
The 19-year-old, who claimed the all important away goal against the Spanish side last week, turned provider at Old Trafford with a spellbinding cross for Marouane Fellaini after 17 minutes.
He couldn’t add any more goals as the home side were forced deeper into their own half as Celta pushed for a winner, but his work rate and link up play was impressive throughout.
Rashford’s stats from the game provide an illustration of just how committed to the cause he was against Celta.
Rashford's game by numbers vs. Celta Vigo:
12 final 3rd passes
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 11, 2017
If you find yourself starting at No.9 every week, the watching world, in turn, will demand goals. This is just the law of the land for strikers, of course.
But Rashford’s display against Celta was a powerful illustration of all the other things that are simultaneously so crucial and often ignored. His movement, for one thing, was excellent from start to finish; the 19-year-old has quickly developed a capacity for bringing defenders out of ‘comfortable’ areas and forcing the back four to readjust their shape.
And then there was his silkiness on the ball: far from perfect, but the awareness and subsequent execution was there for all to witness once again. You sense that, while goals will keep him in the spotlight, Rashford has placed enormous emphasis on developing as a player – not just a goalscorer – and tonight was a promising step in the right direction.