Benni McCarthy has helped Man Utd achieve a first since 2013

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For the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, Manchester United have seen a player score 20 goals across all competitions in three separate seasons. Marcus Rashford clocked up the number on Wednesday night, netting in his side’s 2-2 draw with Leeds. And the appointment of Benni McCarthy is clearly paying off.

Back in the summer, United brought McCarthy onto their coaching staff following the appointment of Erik ten Hag as manager.

And one of his main objectives was getting the best from Rashford again following his struggles under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last term.

Rashford went into the season under scrutiny, with many wondering whether the United star could be relied on.

Fast-forward to now and it’s clear the 25-year-old has silenced his critics to become an undroppable asset for the club.

Rashford wasn’t at his blockbuster best on Wednesday night as United were forced to settle for a draw against Leeds.

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But he’s now clocked up 20 goals for the season, with his goal to make it 2-1 paving the way for Jadon Sancho’s dramatic late leveller.

Rashford has become the first player to score 20 goals across all competitions on three separate occasions since Ferguson walked off into the sunset in 2013.

In fact, he’s the first player to do so since even before that.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the last star to net 20 goals or more on three separate occasions, with that goal glut coming between 2006 and 2009.

Rashford clocked up 21 goals in the 2019/2020 season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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And he bettered that tally the following year as United made the Europa League final, only to lose to Villarreal.

It shows Rashford has been United’s talisman in the years since Ferguson’s retirement, even though he’s often struggled for consistency.

Not anymore, however.

Since the appointment of McCarthy in the summer, the United star has experienced a new lease of life.

Sure, Ten Hag himself has helped. But his coaches, including Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren, have all played key roles as well.

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McCarthy was brought in to help United be more clinical in front of goal.

And with Rashford scoring three times more than he managed under Solskjaer and Rangnick last term, that decision has paid off.

Rashford has previously credited McCarthy for his improved form, saying in November: “He’s definitely helped me a lot.

“To have them attack-minded coaches is good for us in the squad, he’s always there speaking to us about these things.”

And Ten Hag has hailed McCarthy for the work he’s done at Carrington, too.

“In our coaching staff, we had a lot of defenders and midfield players,” Ten Hag said.

“I wanted also to find a good balance. He is offensive [minded] as he is a former striker and that is also a really specific job task in the team.

“I never played there, so I’m [always] lucky to have someone in my staff who played there.

“Football is about scoring and you have a goalkeeping specialist, but you also have offensive specialists and in particular we have a specific scoring trainer.

“He has to add that, in details, working and for the rest of us he has a relationship to all the players in our squad.

“He also has to work on the togetherness and he is doing a great job on that.”

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