Rashford's 'great form' delights United manager Ten Hag

AFP , Thursday 22 Dec 2022

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he expected striker Marcus Rashford to maintain his "performance level" after lauding the England international's superb solo goal in a 2-0 League Cup win over Burnley.

Manchester United s English striker Marcus Rashford (L) Burnley s Dutch defender Ian Maatsen during the English League Cup fourth round football match between Manchester United and Burnley, at Old Trafford, in Manchester, on December 21, 2022. AFP

United, already ahead through Christian Eriksen's 27th-minute opener at Old Trafford on Wednesday, doubled their lead just shy of the hour mark when Rashford, fresh from scoring three goals at the World Cup, ran from inside his own and into the Clarets' penalty area before his low shot hit the back of the net.

It was an impressive way for Rashford to mark his return to club following England's agonising quarter-final exit at the World Cup.

"I think he invested a lot, once again, with a lot of runs in behind the defending line, and then he scored a great goal in a dribble, great finish," Ten Hag said.

"I think he's in great form, and of course I hope he can keep in this focus and performance."

Rashford has now scored nine goals in all competitions for United so far this season, with Ten Hag adding: "I think he is on a very good level, his performances are improving a lot from game to game. He's a continual threat, but also in many other games this season, he's scored already a lot of goals and also does a lot of defending work, don't forget that.

"I'm really happy with his performances and I hope and I expect him to keep going in this attitude and this performance level."

Wednesday's match was also United's first game since the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford following a controversial television interview in which he said he felt "betrayed" by the club and had no respect for Ten Hag.

Ten Hag did not mention Ronaldo in his programme notes on Wednesday, having already spoken about the Portuguese forward's departure, and was in no mood to return to the subject after United had eased into the last eight of the League Cup.

"We made a statement and we look to the future," said Ten Hag, who then asked if it was a good thing in his position that the matter was now closed, nodded and added: "So it is."

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