Manchester United and Marcus Rashford make 5-goal Leipzig statement ahead of meeting with Arsenal

Manchester United and Marcus Rashford make 5-goal Leipzig statement ahead of meeting with Arsenal

Devils on fire

The hopes of Arsenal fans looking forward to a stuttering Manchester United side were dashed on Wednesday evening.

A Marcus Rashford hat-trick, Mason Greenwood strike and an Anthony Martial penalty saw the Red Devils take all 3 points versus RB Leipzig, and secure a confidence boost ahead of the club’s weekend meeting with the Gunners.

Arsenal face Dundalk in the Europa League on Thursday, and are expected to heavily rotate with the trip to Old Trafford in mind. Whilst Bruno Fernandes did not feature for United versus Leipzig, Rashford’s substitute appearance became the highlight of the night.

The visitors were without a number of key figures at Old Trafford, but set up with a back three and enjoyed more of the possession. The scoreline did not reflect the balance of play as much as it did United’s clinical ferocity – an aspect which will no doubt concern Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal have looked defensively stronger under the Spaniard, however a shift to a more offensive (yet vulnerable) back-4 is slowly occurring. Intrigue now surrounds whether the Spaniard will return to the 3-4-3 formation which got the better of Manchester City and Chelsea in last season’s FA Cup.

Donny is ‘fantastic’

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was very happy with how his side dealt with RB Leipzig, and unsurprisingly hailed Rashford’s performance.

“He came on and did well. That’s what we want from the subs. That’s only possible when the others have laid the groundwork and what a shift they put in. They do make you work, Leipzig. The high press, the counter press, everything, the intensity. And we had to really dig deep and work hard for each other,” said the Norwegian.

“Today is the day we had to rest a few because this season is relentless.”

On Mason Greenwood, who scored with his first Champions league shot, Solskjaer continued:

“Yeah, he normally does that with his first shot. He’s so efficient in front of goal, great finisher. His timing of his run, the pass from Paul [Pogba].”

Donny van de Beek has been on the periphery at Old Trafford since his arrival from Ajax in the summer, but the United coach was very complimentary when drawn on the midfielder on Wednesday night:

“Donny is a fantastic player and a fantastic boy and you see the work he puts down. Both on and off the ball you see the defensive shape with him. He covers the ground and he’s so clever with his movement.”

Regarding Sunday’s showdown with Arsenal, Solskjaer added: “We made some changes today because of Sunday. We have a game less than other teams as well so we need to pick up points.”

See also: Real Sociedad coach Aguacil claims Napoli icon Diego Maradona wouldn’t get in La Real’s side over David Silva

This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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