12:30 PM UTC
Leg 1
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Transfer Talk

Louis van Gaal wants consistency from Man United debutant Marcus Rashford

MANCHESTER -- Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal challenged Marcus Rashford to deliver consistently after the striker enjoyed a dream first-team debut at Old Trafford.

The 18-year-old scored twice to help United secure a 5-1 win against FC Midtjylland on Thursday, earning a 6-3 triumph on aggregate and progression to the last 16 of the Europa League.

Manchester-born Rashford was only thrown into action just before kick-off when Anthony Martial withdrew with a hamstring concern, while left-back Joe Riley was also handed his first start.

Van Gaal said that Martial's injury is "not heavy."

Manchester UnitedManchester United
FC MidtjyllandFC Midtjylland
Leg 2Aggregate: 6 - 3
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When asked about Rashford in his postmatch news conference on Thursday, Van Gaal said: "That's fantastic for him, but you have to be consistent. We are looking for consistent strikers. There are not so many on this Earth, but he made a great performance.

"I didn't have another option so it was easy. He was there on the bench because he was the natural sub for Martial. I put Riley in there because he is playing left-back in the second team and I have seen him play well.

"The first match [for young players], they always play good. That's not a problem. It's the second or third game that normally gives them problems."

Marcus Rashford made the most of his Man United debut, scoring three goals in a 5-1 win vs. Midtjylland.

The United manager also praised Memphis Depay for his impressive display.

"I am very happy for Memphis," he said. "Maybe it's a turning point for him, you never know. I hope with all my heart."

Midtjylland manager Jess Thorup was impressed by United's young players, hailing Rashford's display.

He said: "He played an almost perfect game. We know about the young boys they have. That's why they are at Manchester United -- because they have 'something.' That's why they are playing here."

Arindam is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @ARejSport.


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