Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Mata and Solskjaer pay tribute to Rashford after 200-game landmark

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Jan 2020

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Juan Mata applauded Marcus Rashford after the striker became the third youngest player to reach 200 matches for Manchester United in Saturday’s win over Norwich City.

United cruised to a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford and Rashford got two of the goals, generally impressing as he tormented the Norwich defence until his second-half withdrawal.

The 22-year-old was representing the first team for the 200th time; only United greats George Best and Ryan Giggs have reached that landmark at a younger age than the England international.

Manager Solskjaer and team-mate Mata – the creator of two goals in the win – were full of praise for the United youth product, who has scored 19 times in all competitions this season.

Mata told BBC Sport: “He’s our top-scorer, he’s improving a lot. He’s still 22 and has played 200 games.

“He’s in a good run of performances and goals, and hopefully he can stay like that until the end of the season because he offers us so much.”

“He’s been exceptional,” Solskjaer added. “He’s a leader in the group and has 16, 17, 18, 19 goals – I don’t know how many.

“He keeps producing, scoring goals and he was so composed with his finishes. It’s a fantastic effort by Marcus to get 200 games so quickly at his age, and he got through most of the game.

“He was struggling a little bit, so we took him off, but two good goals. I’m very pleased with Marcus’ performance.”

Rashford reacted to his accomplishment after the match, as he struggled to comprehend emulating Best and Giggs.

“Beyond proud to become the third youngest player to hit 200 Man United games,” he wrote on Twitter.

“[I] can’t put into words what it means to follow Giggsy and George Best. Two goals and three points completes a perfect day.”

Victory over Norwich keeps United fifth in the Premier League, five points behind Chelsea in the final Champions League spot.

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