Marcus Rashford: The data and grades behind the Manchester United forward's hot streak

2NGW23G Manchester, UK. 19th Feb, 2023. Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates scoring the first goal during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture credit should read: Andrew Yates/Sportimage Credit: Sportimage/Alamy Live News

Marcus Rashford’s red hot form continued on Sunday as he scored twice in Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Leicester, bringing his goals tally to 14 this season. Since he returned home from a disappointing World Cup with England in the midst of the dramatic departure of Cristiano Ronaldo at United, Rashford has been in electric form and has added the finishing touch to their potent attack.

While loan signing Wout Weghorst has often occupied the center forward position on the team sheet since arriving, Rashford led the line against Leicester, and it is he who has filled the Ronaldo-sized hole in United’s attack, with 10 goals and three assists in the ten league games since the World Cup.

With another standout performance on Sunday, United’s No. 10 continues to impress so let's dig into just how good he has been and examine his performance using PFF’s grades and data.

Shooting

82.1 position rank (8th out of 100)

Rashford’s eye for goal is what has made him stand out over the past couple of months so it is no surprise to see where he stands in our grades, earning the highest score of any United player. All three of his unblocked shots hit the target on Sunday, earning him a season-high grade of 84.6 to earn a spot in our Premier League Team of the Week.

Rashford has taken 72 shots this season, only behind Mohamed Salah at his position (75). Despite his willingness to shoot, United’s forward has remained relatively accurate, ranking 16th in true shot on target percentage (72.22%) which adjusts to account for blocked shots. Additionally, he has six unsaveable shots to his name this season, tied for 2nd.

Ball Carrying

66.8, position rank (41st out of 113)

PFF’s ball carrying grade covers dribbles, carries and tackle resistance. Rashford has not quite lived up to the standards of other attacking threats when compared to players in this category like James Maddison (86.5) or even teammate Bruno Fernandes (76.8).

Over the course of the season, Rashford has completed only 41.9% of his dribbles, which is ranked 4th from the six United players at his position that have attempted ten or more dribbles.

While not his main strength, Rashford is still capable of a good performance in this department, notching a respectable 72.8 grade against Leicester at the weekend and recording the second-best grade of any Premier League player this season against Wolves on New Year’s eve (92.3).

Passing

75.5, position rank (18th out of 113)

Rashford performs well in PFF’s passing grade, especially considering he has ranked with the likes of Bruno Fernandes (88.6, 1st among United players). While a 75.0% true pass completion rate may not seem spectacular, our metrics paint a more complete picture of his passing performance this season. Rashford ranks 5th in his position for completed defensive-line breaking passes (18) and his passes breaking the defensive line completed percentage (0.035%) is 6th best.

Rashford only attempted eight passes against Leicester but he was the target of 37, five of which were line-breaking passes including two breaking the defensive line. Over the course of this season, he ranks 15th at his position for defensive-line breaking passes per-90 minutes with 0.60 (minimum 300 targets).

All in all, it has been a remarkable season for Marcus Rashford so far, and United fans will be hoping his excellent scoring form continues with important cup games coming up against Barcelona and Newcastle.

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