Teenage sensation Marcus Rashford took his tally to four goals in two games as Manchester United compromised Arsenal’s Premier League title bid with a rousing 3-2 victory on Sunday.
The 18-year-old, who had scored twice on his debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday, also set up a goal for Ander Herrera as Louis van Gaal’s side closed to within three points of the Champions League places.
Arsenal, who scored through Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil, were left five points below leaders Leicester City, while Tottenham Hotspur moved three points above them by coming from behind to beat Swansea City 2-1.
At Old Trafford, the extent of United’s injury problems was laid bare by a starting XI that saw midfielder Michael Carrick line up at centre-back, while Manchester-born starlet Rashford led the line in the absence of injury victims Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial.
Arsenal, who made three changes from their 2-0 Champions League defeat by Barcelona, created the first chance, Ozil freeing Nacho Monreal for a shot that the fit-again David de Gea raced out to block, but it was the hosts who drew first blood in the 29th minute.
Gabriel, brought in for Per Mertesacker, failed to make proper contact as he attempted to clear Guillermo Varela’s inviting right-wing cross and Rashford nervelessly placed the loose ball past Petr Cech.
The United faithful rose to acclaim their new hero and they were off their feet again less than three minutes later when Rashford met Jesse Lingard’s cross with a well-directed downward header.
Rashford became the third-youngest player to score a Premier League goal for United, after Federico Macheda and Welbeck, and the latter returned to haunt his former club by reducing the arrears.
In a repeat of the formula that had yielded a last-gasp winner against Leicester two weeks ago, Ozil chipped a free-kick into the box and Welbeck stooped to head home. It was the German’s 18th assist of the campaign.
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