Marcus Rashford continued his remarkable purple patch with another goal at Barcelona on Thursday night.
The 25-year-old forward took his tally to 22 for the season in the 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou, equalling his previous best season in front of goal in 2019-20.
This is in stark contrast to last season’s effort, which saw United’s No10 find the net on only five occasions, a symbol of a dismal campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
Ahead of the Red Devils’ Premier League clash with Leicester at Old Trafford this afternoon, we take a look at Rashford’s renaissance.
Making his Marc
Rashford has delivered 29 goal contributions in 35 games this term, registering 51 shots on target, a devastating output.
His form before the World Cup was promising enough for Gareth Southgate to include the United striker in his squad for Qatar, where Rashford shone, most notably notching a brace in the 3-0 win over Wales.
Since his return to Manchester, his game has reached new heights, bagging 14 goals in just 16 games, with Crystal Palace, Reading and Nottingham Forest the only three opponents to keep the lethal marksman at bay.
Rashford has become an emblematic figure for United’s improvement under Erik ten Hag and the Dutch manager believes there is still more to come from the 51-cap international.
Ten Hag, 53, said: “He has the skills. I was convinced from the first moment and I was really excited to work with him.
Rashford has thrived on the left flank in Ten Hag’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, dovetailing well with Antony out on the right and Bruno Fernandes through the middle.
The presence of Real Madrid legend Casemiro at the base of midfield has had a stabilising effect on United, providing a solid platform on which their attacking talents can shine.
And after his latest showing at the Camp Nou, Rashford garnered further praise from ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand.
The six-time Premier League winner, 44, said: “Marcus Rashford is on smoke.
“He is on a new level, a level he hasn’t been at until now, a level of consistency he hasn’t been able to stay at until now.
“A fit, focused, direct, confident, deadly and potent Rashford is not to be messed with.”
United’s goal for this season will have been to qualify for the Champions League and they are on course to do exactly that.
The Red Devils sit seven points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham while an EFL Cup final to look forward to next Sunday will provide further cause for positivity.
Leaders Arsenal and chasing Manchester City had seemed to be too far in the distance for Ten Hag’s charges to catch but the gap to the stumbling Gunners is now only five points ahead of Matchday 24.
Should Rashford continue his blistering form, do not rule out an unexpected title push from the club who last lifted the Premier League trophy in 2012-13.
The challenge for Rashford and his team-mates will be to maintain their momentum in both league and European competition.
Leicester, who they face next, are exactly the kind of side they should dispatch with confidence.
But the Foxes have won three on the bounce, including last weekend’s 4-1 victory over Spurs, and could provide a banana skin at Old Trafford when United return from Catalonia.
Only bottom two Bournemouth and Southampton have a worse defensive record than Brendan Rodgers’ side however, so more chances should fall to Rashford.
If the Three Lions ace can continue to fire, United are sure to end their season well.