Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compared Marcus Rashford’s decisive free-kick to Cristiano Ronaldo following Manchester United’s 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Chelsea.
Solskjaer’s never-ending faith in Rashford was rewarded on Wednesday, with the forward’s Ronaldo-Esque set piece in the 73rd-minute sending Manchester United through to the quarter-finals at Chelsea’s expense.
The England international, who celebrates his 22nd birthday today, cooly put away a first-half penalty to hand United the lead at Stamford Bridge.
And, just 11 minutes after Michy Batshuayi’s equaliser for Chelsea, Rashford’s jaw-dropping free-kick sealed the victory.
“It’s very Cristiano-like, isn’t it?” Solskjaer told MUTV.
“The boy has got nerves of steel, takes a penalty, no problem. Steps up and hits the ball like he does and wins us the game, fantastic.
“I think he works too much on [free-kicks]. I’ve always tried to get Marcus to score the simple tap-ins and be inside the box. He always scores great goals Marcus, he practises and today he got his reward.
“Marcus has that strike in him. I’ve seen him in training so many times and it’s got to be hitting the target soon, you think, because he’s had a few efforts and finally it goes in.
“My first ever game when I came back at Cardiff he hit a ball from 30 yards, scored after three minutes, so he’s encouraged to do more of that.”
Wednesday’s success, meanwhile, extended United’s winning run to three games in all competitions away from home.
It will certainly go a long way to easing the pressure off Solskjaer, who has been in the firing line lately. However, Rashford reckons the future is bright for the Red Devils manager.
“We have been in a tough place,” he told Sky Sports.
“We are still getting through that phase and the only way to do it is to fight your way through it.
“The main focus for us is just improvement and development because we are definitely going places.”
United will next visit Bournemouth on Saturday for a Premier League match.