Manchester United's Michael Carrick enthused by Marcus Rashford debut
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 26/02/16 3:51pm
Manchester United stand-in skipper Michael Carrick says Marcus Rashford's stunning senior debut against FC Midtjylland on Thursday brought back memories of his first game as a professional.
Rashford has previously been named in two matchday squads for United but had not played for the club until he was named in the starting line-up after Anthony Martial picked up an injury in the warm-up.
The 18-year-old went on to score twice as Louis van Gaal's side won 5-1 on the night at Old Trafford and 6-3 on aggregate.
That result sets up a showdown with old rivals Liverpool in the last 16 of the Europa League and Carrick - who was forced to play at centre-back due to the club's growing injury list, was delighted for his new team-mate.
"It's great. You can't put a price on that for the younger lads, especially Marcus. It's incredible and brings back memories for me [of] when I made my debut," Carrick told MUTV.
"It's what football's all about and what this club has been about for so long.
"For a local lad to do that and come through the system like that, I'm delighted for him."
Rashford proved to be a saviour for United with his composed finishes in the 64th and 75th minutes.
Prior to that, the hosts appeared to be heading for a humiliating exit, as their Danish opponents built upon their 2-1 lead from the first leg as Pione Sisto opened the scoring in the 27th minute.
Soon after, Nikolay Bodurov's own goal made it 3-2 on aggregate, with Juan Mata then spurning the opportunity to level the tie when his penalty was saved just before half-time.
United continue to miss a number of key chances after the restart before Rashford's goals gave them the aggregate lead, with an Ander Herrera penalty and Memphis Depay goal sealing the victory.
That was Netherlands international Depay's seventh goal of the season but he has struggled at times to justify his £25m move from PSV Eindhoven over the summer.
Van Gaal was keen to praise his contribution on Thursday night, though, and Carrick was also impressed by what he saw on the pitch.
"That's the standard Memphis has set now," he said.
"We know the ability he has got and we're really pleased for him. He has been training well and he has had his ups and his downs.
"It's not easy to come in as a young lad, with all the expectation and everything that comes with playing for this club, but hopefully this can kick-start him and give him a lot of confidence.
"I thought he was terrific all night and showed what he's capable of, so now it's up to him to do that consistently on a week-to-week basis and I'm sure he can do that."
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