Rashford one of Europe’s best strikers, says ten Hag

LEEDS – Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said Marcus Rashford is one of the best strikers in Europe, after the in-form forward scored his second goal in a week against Leeds United to help earn his team a vital 2-0 English Premier League victory on Sunday.

England international Rashford broke the deadlock with a bullet header 10 minutes from time and has now scored 21 goals in all competitions this season.

“He’s definitely one of them (best strikers in Europe). From the first moment, I was really excited to work with him. I thought I could get more out of him and he has so many skills,” ten Hag said.

“He has such high potential and I think there can be even more. He can score more goals because he can score with his right, with his left and with his head…

“I don’t know when it will stop but if you are satisfied with it, then it will. And because satisfaction goes to laziness, you have to keep investing every day.

“When he keeps the investment and keeps the focus in every game and brings the energy and belief in, he will keep scoring.”

Rashford’s haul this season is only one fewer than his best goal scoring campaign in 2019-20, with 15 league games remaining.

Said Leeds caretaker manager Michael Skubala: “We haven’t got anything out of the game, but we did give a good performance.

“I think top players at the top level can change games and that’s one moment of class from Rashford.”

Ten Hag revelled in the atmosphere inside Leeds’ Elland Road Stadium, but was not totally satisfied with his team’s display.

“I didn’t feel the hostility. I think it was a great atmosphere. Great ambience. It has to be in a rivalry. It has to be like this and we really enjoyed it,” said the Dutchman.

“I am always critical. We have to play football early on in the game, be more calm. But if you’re not that good in possession, you have to have good defensive organisation and win your battles. Until you have the first goal, you have to keep doing that. From that moment on, there was more composure and the quality on the ball was better.”

Chances were few and far between in a feisty first half between the Roses rivals, with Crysencio Summerville twice going close for Leeds and Bruno Fernandes wasting the visitors’ best opportunity.

Ten Hag’s team continued to struggle to break down the dogged hosts until Rashford headed home from a Luke Shaw cross to finally break Leeds’ resistance in the 80th minute.

Gaps started to appear with the deadlock broken, and substitute Alejandro Garnacho took advantage to put the game to bed five minutes from time, racing clear from a Wout Weghorst pass before firing home.

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