Rashford hat-trick fires five-star United to convincing Champions League win over RB Leipzig

Two from two in Europe for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.

Rashford was sprung from the bench to score three goals in 18 minutes.
Rashford was sprung from the bench to score three goals in 18 minutes.
Image: PA

MANCHESTER UNITED MADE it two wins from two and sieze control of their Champions League group after a convincing 5-0 victory over RB Leipzig at Old Trafford.

A brilliant second-half hat-trick from 63rd-minute substitute Marcus Rashford, a penalty from the boot of Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood’s opener ultimately saw the hosts past their German visitors.

Edinson Cavani also came within a whisker of bagging his first United goal as the clock ran down, but was called back for offside.

Headline-hitter Rashford — who originally gave up the chance to score his first United first-team hat-trick as Martial hit the 87th-minute penalty, but fired home five minutes later — steered Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side past PSG last week as they sealed a late 2-1 win.

The star striker was the hero in Paris once again as United enjoyed a perfect start to their Champions League campaign — and he did the same tonight, with further inspiration from bench from Bruno Fernandes.

The Red Devils now sit three points clear atop Group H, with Turkish side İstanbul Başakşehir FK the other team involved. Solskjaer’s chargges, who have endured a rocky start to their domestic season, have a perfect six points from two games in Europe. 

Leipzig started brightly, pinning the home side back but United soon settled. Fred forced an early save before Luke Shaw had a shot blocked by the head of Yussuf Poulsen and Martial burst into the box but failed to find Pogba.

The home side broke the deadlock when Pogba drove forward from midfield and found 19-year-old Greenwood, who had timed his run into the box perfectly and hit his shot with unerring accuracy.

United — form whom new arrival Donny van de Beek finally got his chance — had a nervous wait as VAR looked at a potential off-side but the goal was allowed to stand.

Leipzig came back strongly, pinning United back for long spells of the rest of the first half. United had an appeal for a penalty soon after the break when the ball hit Ibrahima Konate’s arm but a VAR check ruled there was no penalty.

United goalkeeper David de Gea produced a sharp save to keep out a Konate effort at the back post from a tight angle after the ball was flicked on by Poulsen.

The visitors, now with substitutes Marcel Sabitzer and Alexander Sorloth on the pitch, were playing with urgency but United looked dangerous on the break. Super sub Fernandes sent a superb first-time ball through to Rashford, who raced through and slotted past Gulasci.

The linesman had raised his flag for offside but VAR checked the decision, ruling that the forward started his run in his own half and awarded the goal.

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Rashford rifled home again four minutes later to make the score 3-0 but unselfishly allowed Martial to take the penalty after the Frenchman was brought down in the box.

But the England man completed his hat-trick in added time to cap a devastating display, remind Solskjaer he is the main man at Old Trafford.

© – AFP, 2020; additional reporting from Emma Duffy.

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