Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his players they can go all the way in the Champions League – as Marcus Rashford posted a vicious notice of their intent in the competition.
The striker matched his stirring deeds off the pitch in tackling child hunger with the stunning contribution on the pitch of an 18-minute hat-trick from the bench – the first Manchester United player to do that since Solksjaer himself in 1999 – as the English club ran riot against Leipzig.
And their admiring manager insisted there are no limits for his side, if they can maintain the incredible mentality and commitment they showed on a glorious European night.
“We’ve played against two very good teams now in Leipzig and PSG, two difficult games, and the quality is absolutely fantastic,” he said.
“If we focus on doing the same in the next job, and the next job and the next job after that, then who knows how far we can go. If you can work and work then you will get your rewards.
“The squad is good and adaptable and it gives us options to play different formations. I’m very pleased at the moment.”
Rashford’s stunning hat trick was the star turn on a remarkable night when United made last season’s semi-finalists look distinctly average.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have missed out on Jadon Sancho in the summer, but he still made some big moves in the transfer market with Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani all arriving.
But their start to the season has been a mixed bag, with a home defeat to Crystal Palace and a 6-1 thrashing by Spurs at one end of the scale, and a tremendous 2-1 win over PSG in Paris at the other.
The question now is whether they can find the right balance?
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And it comes after United took last season’s finalists PSG apart in their previous game.
Solksjaer himself scared three from the bench at Forest back in 1999, and afterwards, another of the club’s European heroes, Rio Ferdinand, insisted that the striker is a class above every other forward at the moment.
“Marcus Rashford is on fire. It’s like being in the playground with a sixth former against the younger boys and he just bullies everyone – too quick and too strong,” he said.
“He was head and shoulders above Leipzig. He made some defenders, who we were raving about before the game, look like schoolboys tonight.”
While United posted a real intent of their ambition in the Champions League, there was less good news elsewhere, with Solskjaer revealing that his new signing Alex Telles has tested positive for coronavirus and will isolate for two weeks – which means he will be absent until after the international break.
“Telles has tested positive for coronavirus. He has no symptoms though, so he will be fine,” he said.