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Solskjaer hails 'Cristiano-like' Rashford after unbelievable winner

The Norwegian coach praised his forward’s ‘nerves of steel’.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauds the fans at the end of the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauds the fans at the end of the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Stamford Bridge.
Image: John Walton

MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed Marcus Rashford for his “Cristiano-like” free-kick as well as the “nerves of steel” the forward displayed in taking a vital penalty in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Chelsea.

Rashford provided United’s two goals in the 2-1 victory over the Blues, sealing the club’s spot in the quarter-finals of the competition.

The England international scored his first from the spot 25 minutes in, but Chelsea clawed themselves back into the game thanks to a second-half finish from forward Michy Batshuayi.

However, Rashford stepped up to provide the winner, hitting a stunning free-kick from 30 yards out to seal the win for the Red Devils.

The goal was reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous finish against Portsmouth, and Solskjaer was quick to point out that he too saw similarities between Rashford’s finish and the Portuguese legend’s.

“It was very Cristiano-like, wasn’t it? The boy has got nerves of steel,” Solskjaer told MUTV following the victory. ”Takes a penalty, no problem, steps up and hits the ball like he does and wins us the game. Fantastic.”

He added:” I think he works too much on [those free kicks]! You know what I’ve always said is to get Marcus inside the box and scoring simple tap-ins. He always scores great goals, Marcus! He practices and today he got his reward.”

However, Solskjaer admitted that he was equally impressed by Rashford’s penalty, even if it was not as aesthetically pleasing as his other finish.

Having missed a penalty on Sunday, Rashford has been one of several United players criticised this season for their struggles from the spot.

But the forward stepped up and took another spot-kick on Wednesday, earning praise from his manager.

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“Of course, great character, great mentality,” Solskjaer said. “I told him this morning, ‘When we get a penalty, if we do, you take it, just make your mind up when you’re going to put it.’ Sweet as you like.”

Manchester United are set to face Bournemouth on Saturday as the Red Devils currently sit seventh in the Premier League.

After that, Rashford and co. will play host to Partizan as the club continues its Europa League campaign.

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