Erik ten Hag said Marcus Rashford can be “unstoppable” for Manchester United after the England striker scored his fifth goal in as many games and assisted two others in a 3-1 FA Cup win over Manchester United. Everton.
Rashford capitalized on Antony’s opening goal in the fourth minute, then played at the center forcing Conor Coady to score an own goal early in the second half, before making it seven straight home games with a goal for the United when he scored a penalty in stoppage time.
“From minute one, I think Marcus was the one who showed the confidence and the belief,” Ten Hag said. “He was facing players and I think for the 90 minutes he was a threat to the Everton defence.”
Rashford is now up to 13 goals for the season, on pace to surpass his previous best tally of 22, achieved in 2019-20, if he can stay fit.
“In football it is difficult to measure, but with a striker goals and assists are measured. Today he has two assists and one goal,” added Ten Hag. “He has fantastic skills and when he has mental stability he can keep going.
“That demands a lot from us as a team and organization to make sure we have the right environment and culture. When you stay focused like this you can sure keep this going…
“As a team we have to make sure we create space, playing to their strengths. It’s about Marcus doing very well, but also the team, getting in shape. I think he is unstoppable with his speed, his dribbling and his directness.”
United can now look forward to Sunday’s fourth round draw, but perhaps more importantly they have kept up their winning streak, now up to seven games before Tuesday’s Carabao Cup match against Charlton, as the games in the Premier League against Manchester City and Arsenal are coming up later this month.
“I think we have good beliefs,” Ten Hag said. “We have to stay fresh with so many games. I think with one or two players we could see that the load was high, we have to make sure we get the right balance between load and relaxation for the players.
“The games keep coming and this is a good challenge. When we face the big games like City and Arsenal, the physical performance has to be the best.”
Although relegation-threatened Everton endured an eighth game without a win, Frank Lampard, under pressure, was heartened by the way his players responded to his capitulation in Tuesday’s 4-1 home defeat to Brighton in the Premier League.
“The performance was on a similar level and possibly better in an attacking sense than at Manchester City (last weekend),” he said. “We had a draw at City and I think we deserved a draw today.
“I am really satisfied with the spirit and the courage of the team. We didn’t get the result, that’s how football is sometimes. When you have an individual of Rashford’s quality, he has his moments.”
Although the traveling 9,000 Everton fans frequently chanted ‘plunder the board’, they did not turn on the players or manager at Old Trafford, staying behind to applaud their efforts in defeat.
“I think the reaction at the end of the game explains it,” Lampard said. “They saw the spirit of the team, the way we played and I think they saw that we deserved a draw.”
Everton looked shaky from the start, but after Coady disallowed Antony’s opening goal on 14 minutes, they fought back well.
But a nasty-looking injury to Alex Iwobi, who was stretchered off early in the second half, came just before United regained the lead.
“It’s an ankle ligament injury,” Lampard said. “We hope it will be less, but I don’t know the extent. He left on crutches ”.