Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says Marcus Rashford has a lot more to offer after his doubles clinched an impressive 3-1 win over Premier League leaders Arsenal.
Rashford struck twice in the space of nine second-half minutes to restore United’s lead after Bukayo Saka nullified debutant Antony’s dream opener in the first half.
The 24-year-old twice drove well in front of the Stretford End to score his first Premier League brace since December 2020 and sparked hopes of a potential recall from England for the first time since Euro 2020.
Three Lions assistant boss Steve Holland was present at Old Trafford and Gareth Southgate is naming his squad for upcoming Nations League games next week.
Ten Hag, whose side have now won four in a row, said: “Marcus played a pressing game and transferred really well.
“But we expect him as a striker to be a target, drop, overplay, connect, run after, get into the box and of course score goals.
“I am very happy with the performance, it shows his development. Room for improvement is clear but he has great skills so I’m happy to have him on the team.”
Ten Hag are also expecting big things from new boy Antony, who made his debut in style following his £80.6million move on transfer deadline day.
“I know what he can do, I spoke before the game about the fact that we need that on the right wing,” said the Dutchman about his former Ajax player.
“He’s really good at it with his pace, his dribbling, his pressing ability, we saw that and at this moment he’s lacking a bit of strength, he’s missed some training in the last 10 days, got injured.
“You can see his potential. He has to work to achieve that, the intensity of the Premier League will be high and it will be a challenge for him but we saw his potential today, it’s great that he scored the first goal.”
The fourth straight win is United’s best run in the Premier League since April 2021 and despite a miserable start they sit just three points behind Arsenal at the top of the table.
Ten Hag has braced himself for cool expectations that his side can challenge for the title this season.
He said: “I understand the fans are dreaming, Manchester United’s standards have to be good, we’re at the beginning of a process, we’re a long way away.
“We have to do things much better than we do, it’s an investment, we have to do it together every day, we have to get better if you want to win trophies in the end.”
Arsenal were taken 100 per cent on record at Old Trafford but it might have been different had Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half goal not been ruled out by another controversial VAR decision.
Martinelli converted after Christian Eriksen was deprived of possession but referee Paul Tierney ruled the Dane was fouled by Martin Odegaard after checking the pitchside monitor.
It continued to be a questionable weekend for the decision review system and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is wanting some consistency after more decisions were made against them mid-week.
“I didn’t see the action, they said it was a soft foul. It’s just the consistency,” said the Spaniard.
“They said it was a foul on Bukayo Saka by (Tyrone) Mings and the penalty was not a penalty (midweek). The foul on Aaron Ramsdale when we conceded against Villa was a goal.
“It’s just consistency. We can’t do anything now. It is too late. Just be consistent.”
Despite suffering their first loss of the season, Arsenal controlled the game for a long time and said not many teams will visit Old Trafford and dominate like they did.
“We have to live consistently with the top teams and challenge at the top of this league, you have to come here and play the way you play,” he said.
“To play like they (Arsenal) did today, I don’t think you’re going to see too many teams this season.
“What I saw is a very different Arsenal team that came here and played the way we want to play against world-class players. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we deserved.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/manchester-united-erik-ten-hag-marcus-rashford-b2159643.html Erik ten Hag: Manchester United expect more from Marcus Rashford