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Marcus Rashford Draws Rave Reviews from Twitter as England Tops Wales at World Cup

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 29, 2022

England's Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Wales, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan , Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Gareth Southgate decided to give Marcus Rashford his first start at this year's World Cup on Tuesday against Wales. The Manchester United man made the most of the opportunity.

Rashford's brace led England to a 3-0 win over Wales that clinched the top spot in Group B for the country at seven points.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Beautiful strike by Marcus Rashford 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 <a href="https://t.co/5ippP42wXQ">pic.twitter.com/5ippP42wXQ</a>

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

ANOTHER GOAL FOR MARCUS RASHFORD 🔥🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 <a href="https://t.co/pWcUpT0tuw">pic.twitter.com/pWcUpT0tuw</a>

They advanced alongside the United States, who moved on with five points after beating Iran 1-0.

One of Southgate's other big decisions—giving Phil Foden his first start in Qatar—also paid off as the Manchester City man scored as well.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

ANOTHER FOR ENGLAND 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿<br><br>What a start to the second half 🔥 <a href="https://t.co/CUu2uAKoRv">pic.twitter.com/CUu2uAKoRv</a>

David Ornstein @David_Ornstein

Two of Southgate’s big calls - Rashford + Foden - pay off handsomely as they get a goal each, with both playing a key role in the other scoring (before Rashford got a 2nd) to put England in control vs Wales<a href="https://t.co/zqJTWVrVK4">https://t.co/zqJTWVrVK4</a><a href="https://twitter.com/TheAthleticFC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheAthleticFC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCup</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ENG?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ENG</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WAL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WAL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ENGWAL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ENGWAL</a> <a href="https://t.co/i2835UMv65">pic.twitter.com/i2835UMv65</a>

LADbible @ladbible

Foden and Rashford repaying Southgate’s trust here!

Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT

Southgate taking the chance to use his squad now. Again, wise decision. He's changed this up perfectly so far tonight. First half was awful but he's reacted.

But the day belonged to Rashford, who more than earned his plaudits from football Twitter:

Ben Jacobs @JacobsBen

Marcus Rashford is the first <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MUFC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MUFC</a> player to score three goals at a major tournament for England since Sir Bobby Charlton at the 1966 World Cup.👀🏆 <a href="https://t.co/TnlQpxcSQ2">pic.twitter.com/TnlQpxcSQ2</a>

Andy Mitten @AndyMitten

A very good World Cup so far for several MUFC players. Marcus Rashford brilliant tonight.

Phil McNulty @philmcnulty

Rashford is off to a standing ovation. He has made a real case for a starting place. Big embrace from a smiling Gareth Southgate.

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Brilliant hit by Rashford. Should’ve taken the one in the first-half as the goalie was Ward, who was so poor there. Southgate right to start Rashford and Foden and those calls look even better now. Wales utterly forlorn

Paul Hayward @_PaulHayward

Marcus Rashford was gone a long time for a player of his ability.<br>Good to see him back at both club and international level.

Melissa Reddy @MelissaReddy_

Marcus Rashford, it’s great to see *you* again ✨

Alex Shaw @AlexShawESPN

Majorly heartwarming seeing Rashford smile and look the part again.

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

Marcus Rashford in this form is unstoppable. Has to start from now on 🔥

Rashford's three goals at the tournament tie him atop the Golden Boot standings with France's Kylian Mbappé, the Netherland's Cody Gapko and Ecuador's Enner Valencia.

He has presented an interesting choice for Southgate, who opted to start Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka on the wings in the first two matches. That decision wasn't controversial in a 6-2 win over Iran—Saka notched a brace, and Sterling added a goal—but it was called into question after a scoreless draw against the United States.

It's a good problem for a manager. England has a wealth of options in the attack around Harry Kane, a fixture at the No. 9, and all offer their own benefits. Rashford, for one, offers direct running and excellent finishing, as he showed Tuesday.

Getting the equation right will be a big key for Southgate as Senegal looms in the round of 16. Rashford has made his case, but we'll find out if he locked down a starting spot.