Silky performance by Marcus Rashford misses final spark against Croatia

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 23:02 18/11/2018
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Marcus Rashford

In a replay of the World Cup 2018 semi-finals, England took on Croatia at the Wembley in a winner-takes-it-all UEFA Nations League fixture.

This time, the English came out on top against depleted opposition that could have done a lot better, especially in the final third.

England staged a dramatic comeback to win the game 2-1, with Harry Kane involved in both the goals.

In our player in-focus, we take a look at Marcus Rashford’s performance in this crucial tie.

Statistics:

Minutes played: 73

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Shots: 0

Passing accuracy: 86%

Dribbles: 6

Dispossessed: 2

Marcus Rashford is challenged by Dejan Lovren and Tin Jedvaj

Marcus Rashford is challenged by Dejan Lovren and Tin Jedvaj

30-second report

The youngster was certainly above-average, but could have done a lot better with his chances. He was often let down by Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane and at times himself, with some questionable decision making in the final third.

On and off the ball, Rashford looked confident and determined to make a difference. He troubled the Croatian backline on numerous occasions in the opening sequences, but the defence proved too resilient for the forward.

What he got right: Dribbling

At times, it looked like the ball was inseparable from his feet. The Manchester United academy product had Dejan Lovren running circles around him for most parts of the game while in possession.

In the second half, the 21-year-old danced past the entire defence on two occasions but failed to provide an output on both occasions. Six dribbles in a span of 73 minutes is an impressive statistic, but Rashford should have made at least one of those count.

What he got wrong: Decision making in the final third

Rashford was a bit too generous with his passing and his decision making seemed to be clouded more often than not. The forward did not take a single shot in the game.

That said, he was lucid with his decision making in the neutral third and given that the Manchester United forward restricted himself to a deeper and narrower role in this game, he gets a free pass here.

Sime Vrsaijko tackles Marcus Rashford

Sime Vrsaijko tackles Marcus Rashford

Key moments:

5 min: Nice run down the left and threads a clever pass to Kane, who was ruled offside incorrectly.

21 min: Brilliant pass by Jordan Pickford releases Rashford who is prevented from taking a shot by a brilliant tackle from Sime Vrsaljko, who is taken off immediately.

24 min: Brilliant pass to find Sterling in space, chance scuffed by the Manchester City winger.

46 min: Almost gets past the entire defence, but there’s just too many bodies in the way and Rashford is unable to take a shot.

51 min: Again, the 21-year-old breaks forward and releases Sterling who could have done better.

73 min: Taken off because of some discomfort that arose after a harsh foul by Tin Jedvaj.

Verdict

That the youngster could have done a lot better is definitely stretching it. Rashford was sublime on the ball, causing all sorts of problems for the Croatia back-line.

However, there were a lot of occasions where he should have pulled the trigger himself. Overall, the 21-year-old can be pleased about a good show against a competent defence.

Player rating: 7/10

Data courtesy of whoscored.com

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