Man Utd 1 West Ham 0: Rashford’s 100th club goal keeps pressure on top four but Ten Hag indebted to late De Gea saves


MARCUS RASHFORD is playing football with a smile on his face again.

Now he could be beaming from ear to ear as part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad in Qatar next month.

The Three Lions boss was at Old Trafford to witness Rashford hammer home a header to grab his 100th Manchester United goal.

If Southgate wants players in form when he chooses his final 26 man squad on November 10th then Rashford’s name has to be on the list.

The last time Rashford kicked a ball for England it was in missing a penalty in the Euro 2020 final shoot-out final against Italy.

Form and fitness problems have not seen him figure for his country since.

Certainly last season there was no reason why he should have been picked while he was not available in the last international break due to an injury.

But he is fit and firing again.

Only last week he summed up where he is at right now saying: “I feel like I’m getting there. I’m a lot more happy, I’m enjoying myself a lot more.

“I’m just looking forward to the games.”

You can see the confidence flowing through the 24-year-old as he became the first United player to reach that 100 goal milestone since Wayne Rooney back in 2009.

Of the many depressing sights watching this team last season the drop off in form from Rashford was one of the most troubling.

Interim boss Ralf Rangnick had said that his form in training warranted a place in the team but he just could not replicate it on match day.

Erik ten Hag who said from day one he had faith in Rashford.

He promised him a run as a number nine and was true to his word.

As in this game, he can be possibly even more effective from that position wide left, as Cristiano Ronaldo was preferred up front.

Last Thursday he proved he can even fit in the number ten role as he came on to play just behind Ronaldo.

It was a combination that impressed Ten Hag as both players scored in the second half of that Europa League game.

His adaptability has to be another plus when Southgate is making his mind up.

Rashford now has seven goals for the season but it is seeing his faith in his own abilities on the ball that will gladden the hearts of United fans as much as the goals.

United have been dominating teams at Old Trafford from the off and this was no different.

West Ham were pushed back from the first whistle and were just trying to stifle and earn something on the break in the first period.

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