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Marcus Rashford ‘can’t stop smiling’ after first Man Utd hat-trick on day free school meals petition gets 1m signatures

MARVELLOUS Marcus Rashford "can't stop smiling" after his stunning second-half hat-trick led Manchester United's 5-0 rout of RB Leipzig.

On the day Rashford's petition for free school meals reached 1million signatures, the striker came on in the 63rd minute to strike on 74 and 78 minutes plus two minutes into stoppage time.

Rashford said: “I think the manager told me when I came on to up the tempo and of course for us it means going forward and there were definitely spaces there.

“We looked like we could score every time we went forward.

“It was  a real team performance and those who started the game did well and those who came on did well.

“We can’t ask for much more than that in terms of attitude and intensity and intent to go and kill a game off.”

And in a tweet celebrating his first United treble, he hailed his petition success and amazing match stats before adding: "Can’t stop smiling, I’ve waited a long time for that. Just wish the fans were in to experience it with me."

The 22-year-old did well to ignore the linesman’s flag in running on to Bruno Fernandes through ball for his first goal - doubling Mason Greenwood's opener - as VAR showed his run had begun before the halfway line.

Rashford said: “I thought to be fair I was in my own half so I was a bit confused when the flag went up but all you can do is wait and see and after the ball is in the net and that is it.

“We have to work with VAR. it’s part of the game now and the quicker we get used to it the better.” 

Rashford was briefly denied a hat-trick when Anthony Martial asked to take an 87th minute penalty but at least the Frenchman converted it.

Asked if there had been a chat between the two, Rashford said: “A little bit yeah but I feel confident with Anthony taking them as well so there was no problem.”

The romp made it two wins from two in Champions League Group H.

Rashford, who is making headlines off the pitch for his work in feeding poverty hit children, is doing the business on it too against sides that excelled in the Champions League last season.

He scored the late winner last week against finalists PSG and now this against the Bundesliga leaders and a side who reached the last four.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Marcus took his chances incredibly well.

 “Marcus has shown he can keep focusing on what's important on and off the pitch.

 “He came on did well made an impact and that is what you want from the subs but that is only possible though because the others had laid the groundwork.

“What a shift they put in. Leipzig make you work hard, the high press, the counter press, everything, the intensity and we had to dig in and work hard for each other so spaces open up when you are winning.”

Mason Greenwood got the opener in the 21st minute on his return to the side after a superb pass from Paul Pogba.

Solskjaer said: “He normally does that with his first touch. He is so efficient in front of goal. He is a great finisher and I was very pleased with the timing of his run. Great pass from Paul.

New signing Alex Telles missed last night’s game after testing positive for Covid-19

Solskjaer said: “Telles has tested positive for coronavirus, he's been out for a few days, no symptoms, he'll be fine, back soon.”

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