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'Lads, it's Jose': Marcus Rashford pick of the bunch as Man Utd raise their game for Mourinho

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“Lads, it’s Tottenham …,” read the traffic information boards around Manchester ahead of kick-off, a playful nod to one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s more famous pre-match team talks before a game against Spurs at Old Trafford.

Never shy to take a leaf out of his former manager’s book, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer probably only needed three words of his own to get his players’ juices positively flowing for this one: “Lads, it’s Jose …” Mourinho had lost the majority of the Old Trafford dressing room by the time he left United 12 months ago and it seems fair to think that some of those he threw under the bus during his tenure were not short of extra motivation on Wednesday night.

It certainly appeared that way with United unrecognisable from the side that floundered against Sheffield United and Aston Villa.

Jesse Lingard, who has veered largely between the anonymous and the awful this season, picked Mourinho’s return to deliver one of his best, most diligent displays for a long time, perhaps with the Portuguese’s past claims about him lacking “character” for the fight ringing in his ears.

But it was another player whom Mourinho had not been afraid to criticise in the past who was the undoubted star of the show.

Step forward Marcus Rashford.

There was not a player on the pitch close to rivalling Rashford, whose 11th and 12th goals in his past 13 starts for club and country told only half the story on a night when you could almost feel Tottenham pulses quicken whenever the England forward picked up the ball.
For more news relating to Spurs, visit our sister site Spurs Live.
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