Teenage striker Marcus Rashford turned in a brilliant performance as Manchester United defeated Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford on Sunday. The local lad netted twice and created Ander Herrera's third, in a brilliant team performance that was as entertaining as anything we've seen under Louis van Gaal over the last couple of seasons. The future certainly looks bright.
Arsenal made an ominously good start to the match, with United struggling to match their early intensity both with and without the ball. The Gunners should've taken the lead inside the first 10 minutes, though David de Gea made a fine save to deny full-back Nacho Monreal after Mesut Özil laid on a superb assist.
Fortunately, United managed to weather the early storm, without managing to seriously exert any pressure of their own. A fizzing Memphis free-kick called Petr Čech into action, though the shot-stopper was otherwise untested throughout the game's first quarter.
The match appeared to hit a lull, though suddenly sprung to life just short of the half-hour. A cross by Guillermo Varela fell kindly for Rashford just inside the area, with the youngster lashing the ball into the top corner on his Premier League debut.
The Old Trafford faithful were left pinching themselves just three minutes later, when Rashford added a second. It was another great goal, with the Mancunian teenager glancing a teasing Lingard cross beyond Čech and into the back of the net. The home crowd were ecstatic, and it was little wonder.
However, the party didn't last. Inside the final five minutes of the half an innocuous-looking Arsenal halved their deficit from nowhere, with former United man Danny Welbeck heading an Özil free-kick beyond de Gea. Suddenly the Gunners' tails were up, and they dominated the final few minutes of the half -- fortunately, without result.
Arsenal continued to look dangerous early in the second half, and United's defence was weakened by an injury to Marcos Rojo on his first Premier League start since November. Academy graduate Timothy Fosu-Mensah was handed his debut in the Argentine's place, and the hosts' average age fell yet further.
But once again, United grew in confidence, and were rewarded five minutes past the hour. A wonderful run by Rashford was picked out by Juan Mata, and the youngster's low cross found Ander Herrera ghosting into position on the edge of the box. The Spaniard's effort took a deflection off Laurent Koscielny on its way past Čech, with United restoring their two-goal lead.
However, they still couldn't relax. Within five minutes Arsenal had once again pulled themselves within one, with Özil firing a rebound home after de Gea had initially denied Welbeck. United's young team could've subsequently crumbled under Arsenal's late pressure, though they managed to see out one of United's most memorable wins of the season.