How Marcus Rashford’s Manchester United season took off

Marcus Rashford’s renaissance has coincided with Manchester United’s as the forward’s two goals against Charlton eased them into the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

After two seasons of struggle, the 25-year-old has rediscovered his form and has scored in each of his last six appearances, registering seven goals in all.

Here we look at how the former academy graduate’s season has taken off since the World Cup and how he is now flourishing under new manager Erik ten Hag.

Early-season form

The signs were there at the start of the campaign as Rashford scored eight in 19 although he tended to score in bursts, twice scoring two in a game.

But, significantly, his contributions were important, including winners against Liverpool, Arsenal, Omonia Nicosia and West Ham.

Post-World Cup acceleration

The trip to Qatar, where he was not in Gareth Southgate’s first-choice side, appears to have been a major confidence booster as he came off the bench to score in the thrashing of Iran and then grabbed two against Wales in a rare start.

He hit the ground running on his return with the crucial second goal in a Carabao Cup win over Burnley and has not looked back.

All-round improvement

Prior to the World Cup break Rashford was averaging a goal contribution – a goal or assist – every 129.5 minutes for United.

In the month since returning from Qatar his average is every 47.3 minutes. His goals against Charlton saw him become the first United player since Wayne Rooney in March 2010 to score in eight consecutive home appearances.

United’s form has also benefited from his upturn as they have won eight consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since January 2019 – Rashford scoring in seven of those games. He has 15 goals in 25 appearances this season, his third-best career tally in more than seven years at first-team level.

How is he faring against his England rivals?

On current form, none of his international team-mates can compare. Tottenham striker and England captain Harry Kane is closest, with four goals in three games since the restart.

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka scored in back-to-back matches following his return but has drawn a blank in his next two.

Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling has one in three, while Phil Foden scored his first goal in five games since the World Cup in last weekend’s FA Cup win over Chelsea but Manchester City team-mate Jack Grealish has yet to score in four. Newcastle’s Callum Wilson has also gone four games without a goal since returning.