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Mourinho gushes over goal-scoring hero Rashford

Manchester United v RSC Anderlecht - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United misses a chance during the UEFA Europa League quarter final second leg match between Manchester United and RSC Anderlecht at Old Trafford on April 20, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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Jose Mourinho doesn’t hesitate to be critical, which makes his glowing praise of Marcus Rashford shine even brighter.

Rashford nabbed the decisive goal as Manchester United beat Anderlecht 2-1 to qualify for the UEFA Europa League semifinals on Thursday, and the 19-year-old was neither fazed by the spotlight nor the pressure that came with Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaving the match with injury.

[ MORE: Match recap | Europa roundup ]

Mourinho, who’s heaped public advise on fellow youngster Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, sure loves his teenage match winner.

From the BBC:

“You speak about his qualities and they are fantastic. But mentality he is excellent. He hadn’t scored since September, some players don’t understand what I want but Marcus I trust. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t score - he is fantastic in his effort and attitude.”

Mourinho also offered an update on injured players Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo, saying he’ll wait for the tests but it seems “fairly negative”. He said United still won’t put its entire focus on the Europa League until the Premier League’s Top Four becomes impossible.

United will face either Celta Vigo, Lyon, or Ajax in the semifinals, and learns its opponent Friday morning. The semis legs are May 4 and 11.

Follow @NicholasMendola