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Football | Rashford bags hat-trick for five-star United in Group H

Marcus Rashford came off the bench to score a hat-trick as Manchester United cruised to a 5-0 win over RB Leipzig at Old Trafford in the Champions League.

United tore last year’s semi-finalists apart in Manchester to take firm control of Group H, on a night where PSG also recorded a 2-0 win over Istanbul.

Next week, United travel to Istanbul knowing that win will put them in a great position of reaching the knockout stages of the competition.

Rashford has become the second Manchester United player to score a hat-trick as a substitute after his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did way back in 1999 in a league match against Nottingham Forest.

Mason Greenwood gave United the lead in the 21st minute after good link up play with Paul Pogba.

There was a question on whether the English striker was in an offside position, but after a VAR check, the goal was given.

Leipzig failed to create many notable openings as David de Gea had a very quiet opening half. Following on from his impressive performance in the win over PSG, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was once again very rock solid at right back.

The Germans' first real attempt at goal didn’t come until the 65th minute when a strong header from Ibrahima Konaté was saved by de Gea.

United introduced Rashford three minutes later, and the England international didn’t have to wait long to get on the score sheet.

Rashford timed his run perfectly after a sumptuous pass from Bruno Fernandes, dashing from inside his own half to get one-on-one with Péter Gulácsi and fired to the net.

On the far side, the flag went up against Rashford, but it was clear that he was in his own half as the ball was played. After VAR had a look, the correct decision was made, and the goal was given.

Four minutes later Rashford was on the score sheet again after an error by in-demand Leipzig centre half Dayot Upamecano, who presented the ball to Rashford in a dangerous position.

The forward lashed the ball into the back of the net and within a blink of an eye what seemed to be a very even match was instantly turned on its head.

Rashford had a chance to get his hat-trick from the penalty spot after Anthony Martial was fouled by Marcel Sabitzer, but to his credit, he unselfishly allowed Martial to take it.

The Frenchman made no mistake and smashed it into the bottom left hand corner from 12 yards, and despite Gulácsi going in the right direction, the shot was just too powerful for the Hungarian to keep out.

Rashford completed his hat-trick in injury time after great play from Martial, who dribbled past multiple Leipzig defenders before finding his strike partner in the box.

Rashford kept his cool to complete his hat-trick, capping off a five-star performance from the Red Devils.

Johnny O’Connell


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