Wednesday 18 September 2019

'We didn't play like Manchester United. It’s not right' - Marcus Rashford echoes Roy Keane in damning assessment

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Marcus Rashford offered up a scathing assessment of Manchester United's performance, as his side slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Manchester City at Old Trafford.

While the victory edged City a giant step closer to the Premier League title, United's slump in form continued and an honest Rashford gave a pretty brutal assessment of their efforts in an interview with Sky Sports.

"Today we didn't play like Manchester United. It’s not right," said the young striker. "The bare minimum is to work hard and give all for the badge, the supporters, the club and yourself.

"It has been a tough road to get to where we are, to get there and not be putting up the same performances as we were in January is disappointing. We know what’s been going wrong, it’s mentality and willingness to run for your team.

"Forget the league and top four, you don’t lose this game. It’s that simple as a Manchester United fan. We never call each other out but we have to be real with each other. It’s a matter of trying to improve each other.

"It’s more getting back used to doing it on the pitch. They (the fans) know we can do it. Forget the top four and the Champions League. We have to get to the bottom of it and start playing like Manchester United for ourselves."

Former United captain Roy Keane was equally critical of the performance of Rashford and his team-mates, as he suggested they lacked leaders on a night when Paul Pogba's performance came under fire once again.

Roy Keane pointed an accusing finger Manchester United's fall-guys, after they lost 2-0 against Manchester City at Old Trafford.

"City were very good, showed their quality, but it was as an easy night for them," said Keane. "I bet they are sitting in their dressing room and can't believe how comfortable it was for them.

"City looked like they could go an play another game after that. They didn't look tired, they looked ready to go again, but United were nowhere to be seen.

"I don't know what happened at half-time. City came out and they were sharper, seemed brighter and United never got going.

"On the first goal, United were not closing people down. We talk about the basics of football and United didn't turn up in the second half.

"What happened to stopping shots and closing down people? The balls were there to close down, but United stepped back and let them have shots. What are they doing? Get out there and block balls like your life depends on it. There is only one ball, go and close it down. Do the basics.

"If that was an example of players giving their all, they Manchester United are in bigger trouble than I thought they were and I think they are in big trouble.

"They are really low on confidence and they were up against a good team tonight. These young players need leaders around the club and United don't have enough of them at this moment. Who is going to lead them and who is going to get them through this tough period? There is no quick fix."

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed he was satisfied with his side's attitude after their 4-0 defeat at Everton on Sunday, as he admitted City were a few steps ahead of their local rivals.

"We got a reaction and in the end, were beaten by a better team," he said. "You can see the work-rate was there, it wasn't good enough.

"There is a difference in quality. That is why they are top and we are where we are. They have set the standard. Living in Manchester we cannot be happy with that. It is up to us to close that gap and overtake them."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport