Marcus Rashford is a superhero both on and off the field, as he achieved a hat-trick at the 18th-minute mark off the bench contributing to Manchester United’s 5-0 victory over RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
After making a name for himself off the field through his campaign against child poverty during the pandemic,
Rashford wrote his name in the history books as the fastest player to achieve a hat-trick in the tournament and the fifth individual to do so, with all the goals coming inside a 15-minute spell.
Rashford continued to excel upon his role with multiple consecutive finishes after entering as a 63rd-minute substitute.
The England forward ran onto a first-time pass from Bruno Fernandes and slotted home to make it 2-0 in the 74th, building on the first-half opener by Mason Greenwood that made the 19-year-old forward United’s second-youngest scorer in the Champions League after Wayne Rooney.
Rashford’s quick feet saw him charge through Leipzig’s open defense and drive in his second goal in the 78th and, after Anthony Martial made it 4-0 from the penalty spot, the France internationl teed up Rashford in completing his hat trick in the second minute of injury time.
“I think the manager wanted me to up the tempo,” Rashford told BT Sport after the match.
“That for us means going forward. There was definitely spaces there. We got Bruno [Fernandes] and Paul [Pogba] on the ball. We looked dangerous throughout and like we could score every time we went forward.”
Despite Rashford’s incredible individual performance, He attributed their sensationa win to how well they played as a unit.
“It was a real team performance. The ones who started did well and the substitutes did well too. We can’t ask for much more than that in terms of the attitude and the intent to go and kill the game off. It worked in our favor,” he stated.
Rashford took the time on his Instagram account to celebrate his amazing achievement by sharing how it has always been his ambition to come up with such a noteworthy performance.
“Can’t stop smiling. I’ve waited a long time for that. Just wish the fans were in to experience it with me,” he wrote.
United opened Group H with a 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain and are now looking forward to a double-header with Istanbul Basaksehir either side of the upcoming international break, knowing two wins could give Manchester United to seal qualification for the knockout stage.
A change of shape by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw United switch to a diamond formation and it worked marvellously at the Old Trafford, with the recalled Paul Pogba surging through midfield and setting up Greenwood for a well-taken opening goal in the 21st minute.