Teenage striker Marcus Rashford is a “special talent”, says Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal.
The 18-year-old marked his Premier League debut with two goals in three minutes as United beat Arsenal 3-2.
Rashford also scored twice on his first-team debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday.
Van Gaal said: “Youngsters often play well in the first match. The second is different. Marcus played well in both so he is a special talent.”
The former Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich boss said Rashford’s debut compared favourably with those by some of football’s biggest stars, namely Patrick Kluivert, Xavi and Thomas Muller.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was also impressed by the youngster.
The Frenchman said he was surprised by Rashford’s “movement and his intelligence”, adding: “He could be a very positive surprise for Manchester United on what I’ve seen today.”
Who is Rashford?
Rashford topped the scoring charts for United’s Under-18s last year, having found the net on 13 occasions in 25 starts.
Before his recent heroics, he was an unused substitute in the 2-1 win at Watford on 21 November and in the draw at Leicester the following weekend.
He is one of a number of players who have gone on to play professionally after turning out for local youth club Fletcher Moss Rangers.
The likes of Wes Brown, Danny Welbeck and Ravel Morrison all represented the team in their junior years.
Current United team-mates Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Tyler Blackett were also ex-Fletcher Moss players.
Why did Van Gaal tumble?
The Dutchman rarely leaves his seat in the dugout during games but seemed frustrated by an alleged dive by Gunners striker Alexis Sanchez.
So he decided to deliberately fall to the floor in front of the fourth official.
He later apologised, claiming he had been “too emotional”.
“I have had a lot of criticism because I am sitting on my bench and now I am off my bench and I have lot of criticism because I’m doing that,” he said.
“I have apologised to the referee and the linesman and I hope everything is solved. I have to control my emotions. I have said that also to my players.”
What happened next?
Social media was quick to seize on the opportunity to make the most of Van Gaal’s amateur dramatics…