Jose Mourinho explains decision to put Rashford on set-pieces against Chelsea

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Marcus Rashford has had to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic's understudy for most of the season but came to the fore during the 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Sunday.

Picked over his more experienced teammate for his pace, Rashford shone leading the line and scored the game's opening goal in just the seventh minute.

The 19-year-old gave David Luiz and Gary Cahill nightmares all game and arguably produced his best performance since Jose Mourinho took over as manager.

Rashford didn't just shoulder the responsibility of scoring the goals for the Red Devils, though, as he was given the role of free-kick taker too.

At Euro 2016, England manager Roy Hodgson was much maligned for putting striker Harry Kane on set pieces but Mourinho's unconventional choice went somewhat under the radar.

And the Man United boss has now explained why Rashford was given the nod over his other options - including Paul Pogba.

Despite being one of the youngest players on the pitch, Mourinho revealed that Rashford has his complete trust from a dead-ball situation.

"Marcus is trustable," Mourinho told MUTV.

"Even for the second goal, his free-kick was really high, impossible to score from a header because it was to what we call the third post – not the first or second post.

"But he's always tense, he's always fast, and you can always trust that [he will make] strong contact with the ball."

"The ball always goes with speed with him. With some other guys, the ball goes in the right spot but slower. Even if you win the duel in the air, it can be really difficult to score, so in this moment Marcus is one of the boys we trust.

"Because he's so young, he's able to keep developing that day after day; he's always with one of the assistant coaches trying to make it even better."

Irrespective of Rashford's fine performance against the league leaders, United's top scorer Ibrahimovic is expected to return to the starting XI for the Europa League tie with Anderlecht on Thursday.

Nevertheless, Mourinho's latest public outburst regarding Anthony Martial means the young England star could still feature from the left.

And it sounds like we can expect to see Rashford standing over free-kicks and corners for a while yet too.

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Marcus Rashford
Paul Pogba
Manchester United

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