EPL

Rashford leads charge of the super-subs as Man Utd star hails huge win

By Sports Desk January 22, 2022

Marcus Rashford said "nothing beats" the exhilaration of a last-gasp winner at Old Trafford after his stoppage-time strike put Manchester United fourth in the Premier League.

The England forward applied the finishing touch to a four-man assault on West Ham's penalty area, with the game having looked set to finish goalless.

Cristiano Ronaldo fed Anthony Martial, and his pass freed Edinson Cavani on the left side of the penalty area. Cavani sent a low cross to the far post and Rashford could not miss from close range.

Martial, Cavani and Rashford were all substitutes, sent on by interim boss Ralf Rangnick to pep up a United side who were struggling to break down West Ham's backline on Saturday.

It was ultimately such attacking strength in numbers that helped the Red Devils snatch what could prove a huge three-point return, given it moved Rangnick's team above David Moyes' Hammers into a Champions League place.

Asked about the thrilling finale, Rashford said: "They're the best games to be involved in and when you're on the winning side of it, it's a great feeling and nothing really beats it in football.

"[We are] very happy. [It was] a very big game against opposition who at the moment are very tight with us, so it was important that we got the win.

"You might not see it now, but come the end of the season it can be three points, four points, that are the difference between being in and out of the top four, so pleased that we managed to get the three today, and we have to use it now as motivation."

United also won at Brentford on Wednesday after a late flurry of goals, with Rashford getting the third in a 3-1 win to end a personal 11-game drought.

"We've got two good wins now to use as motivation now to keep moving forward," Rashford said.

He had little doubt about United's goal, despite replays showing Cavani appeared to be on the borderline of being offside.

"It felt like a good goal, and thankfully it stood," Rashford said.

"For any forward, when you go through a patch of not scoring for a few games, when the goals do start coming back it's a great feeling."

Goalkeeper David de Gea said the win was one United had earned. They had 18 shots to West Ham's six, and led the expected goals (xG) count by 1.6 to 0.3.

In an interview broadcast by V Sport Premium, De Gea said: "The feeling, you saw it with the fans how they react to the goal, it was amazing.

"When you score a goal at the end of the game at Old Trafford it is something special. But I think we deserved the goal. We kept trying until the end, we controlled the game, and we deserved the three points."

Rangnick may have had the conviction to throw on forwards to chase the win, but De Gea felt credit should also go to those who engineered the goal on the pitch.

"Not just the manager, I think the players as well," De Gea said. "It's not easy when the game is tight to come from the bench and make an impact, so this is why we have good players on the pitch and good players on the bench.

"I hope this gives us more confidence for the rest of the season. I think we need it as well, but I think it was an unbelievable game, a massive three points for us."

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