Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says there’s more to come from Marcus Rashford after his brace scored an impressive 3-1 win over Premier League leaders Arsenal.
Rashford scored two goals in nine minutes of the second half to restore United’s lead after Bukayo Saka nullified rookie Antony’s first-half opener dream.
The 24-year-old has competed twice in front of Stretford End to score his first Premier League double since December 2020 and raise the hope of a possible England retirement for the first time from Euro 2020.
Deputy Head of the Three Lions Steve Holland was in attendance at Old Trafford, and Gareth Southgate names his team for the upcoming Nations League matches next week.
Ten Hag, whose team have now won four in a row, said: “Marcus played a pressing game and moved really well.
But we expect him as a striker to be a target, to fall, to play, to connect, to run behind, to reach the box and obviously score goals.
“I’m really happy with the performance, it shows its development. The room for improvement is clear, but he has great skills, so I’m happy to have him in the team ”.
Ten Hag also expects big things from new guy Antony who scored his debut in style following his £ 80.6m move on the day of the transfer deadline.
“I know what it can be, I spoke before the match we needed on the right wing,” said the Dutchman of his former Ajax player.
“With his pace, his dribbles, his pressing skills, he’s really good at that, we’ve seen it and right now he’s lacking a bit of power, he missed some training, he got injured in the last 10 days.
“You can see its potential. He has to work to get it, 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 fantastic that he scored the first goal. “
The fourth straight win is United’s best Premier League streak since April 2021 and they are just three points behind Arsenal at the top of the table despite a bad start.
Ten Hag has moved to cool expectations his team can challenge for the title this season.
He said: “I understand that the fans are dreaming, Manchester United’s standards must be good, we are at the beginning of a process, we are still a long way off.
“We have to do things much better than us, it’s an investment, we have to do it together every day, we have to improve if in the end you want to win trophies.”
Arsenal had their 100% record taken at Old Trafford, but it would have been different if Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half goal hadn’t been ruled out by another controversial VAR decision.
Martinelli converted after Christian Eriksen was robbed of possession, but referee Paul Tierney ruled that the Dane was fouled by Martin Odegaard after checking the sideline monitor.
It continued a questionable weekend for the decision review system, and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta wants some consistency after multiple decisions went against them mid-week.
“I didn’t see the action, they said it was a soft foul. It’s just the texture, ”the Spaniard said.
“They said it was a foul on (Tyrone) Mings’ Bukayo Saka 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. There is nothing we can do now. It’s too late. Just be consistent “.
Although they suffered their first defeat of the season, Arsenal have controlled the game for long periods and said not many teams will visit Old Trafford and dominate the way they did.
“We have to live consistently with the best teams and challenge the top of this league you have to come here and play as you play,” he said.
“To play as they did today (Arsenal), I don’t think you will see too many teams doing this season.
“What I’ve seen 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 ”.