'He was unbelievable'- Louis Van Gaal hails teenage sensation Marcus Rashford
Published 25/02/2016 | 22:53
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hailed teenager Marcus Rashford as he enjoyed a fairy tale night in Manchester United’s thrilling 5-1 Europa League win against FC Midtjylland at Old Trafford.
On a night when Van Gaal knew he dare not fail again, his side produced the goods against the Danish champions to notch up an impressive 6-3 aggregate victory in the tie.
Called into the United side as a last minute replacement after Anthony Martial picked up a hamstring injury in the warm up for the game against FC Midtjylland at Old Trafford, Rashford turned in a stunning display as United came from behind to secure a route to the last-16 of the Europa League.
United's unheralded opponents led 2-1 from the first leg and when Pione Sisto increased their advantage with the first goal in the second leg, it seemed as if Van Gaal’s season from hell was about to hit a new low.
That before Nikolay Bodurov’s own goal reduced the deficit before Rashford scored two fine goal to bring United back into contention, before Ander Herrera’s penalty and a late clincher from the hugely impressive Memphis Depay sealed the win.
“He was unbelievable,” declared Van Gaal of 18-year-old Rashford. “I said to him at half-time to be in the width of the goal and you shall score. Then he scored two goals - it is fantastic for him.”
Van Gaal will also have been encouraged by a much-improved display from Depay, as he suggested the entertainment factor was back in his side
“It was a great performance,” he told BT Sport. “The fans will have enjoyed our attacking football.
“Midjtylland had only crossed the halfway line once and they scored. Normally you get a decline in confidence, but we continued our game.
“We missed a penalty, it was unbelievable but we kept going. i must give compliments to my players.”
Van Gaal suggested he was already turning his thoughts to Sunday’s Premier League clash against Arsenal, as he admitted it would be difficult to get his side ready for the game that comes so soon after their latest European game.
“It shall be difficult to be ready for Arsenal,” he added. “It is not normal to play a game like this so soon after a test like this, but we have to try to be ready.”