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Solskjaer expecting more from Rashford after opening-day double against Chelsea

The young England striker scored only 10 league goals last season, but will be called upon to lead the line for Man United this year.

Marcus Rashford and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Marcus Rashford and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expecting more from Marcus Rashford this season after the striker opened his campaign with a brace against Chelsea.

United crushed the Blues 4-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday, with Rashford playing an important role – though the scoreline did flatter Solskjaer’s side.

Rashford opened the scoring early on with a penalty he won following Kurt Zouma’s clumsy foul, before Anthony Martial made it 2-0 in the second half.

A cool finish after Paul Pogba’s pass saw Rashford double his tally a few minutes later, with Daniel James wrapping up the win late on.

Rashford managed to score 10 Premier League goals last term, but Solskjaer is expecting him to kick on this term.

“I think Marcus is developing really well,” Solskjaer told reporters at Old Trafford. “He’s growing, you see his stature now, his body. He’s capable of playing more this year.

He struggled with his ankle last season, so this year I expect more from him. But the whole squad, we’re fitter, we’re stronger. You can see in that second half, we are more than capable of lasting games.

“He’s getting fitter and is a year older. We’ve had six weeks to work on a shape we want to look like and he’s exceptional when there’s space in behind.

And the third goal, he almost got the same against Kristiansund [in a pre-season] friendly in Norway, but his touch let him down. Thankfully he brought it down [this time].”

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League - Old Trafford Two goals in the opening day of the season for Marcus Rashford helped United to a 4-0 victory over Chelsea. Source: Martin Rickett

Martial began the match as United’s central striker and, although he and Rashford rotated throughout the game, he got his goal with a poacher’s effort from an Andreas Pereira cross.

Solskjaer is hopeful Martial gets more of those goals this season, telling him he should be looking to finish moves from close in, instead of bothering with tricks on the wing.

“It’s always important for a striker [to score goals], but how do you react? Do you drop your shoulders, [and think] ‘I’ve scored my goal now’, or do you get hungrier and realise, ‘That’s where I score my goals’?

“It’s not out wide on the left-hand side showing your skills, it’s in that box, and I was so pleased for Anthony scoring from five yards after that cross, because I’ve not seen too many of them [from him].”

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