Ten Hag hails ‘unstoppable’ Rashford as Manchester United put one foot in final

  • United win 3-0 at Nottingham Forest in semi-final first leg
  • Weghorst scores first goal for club in Carabao Cup tie

Erik ten Hag praised “unstoppable” Marcus Rashford after the Manchester United striker’s 10th goal in 10 games left Nottingham Forest’s Steve Cooper admitting their Carabao Cup semi-final is all but over.

After their 3-0 win at the City Ground, the United manager was pleased at the manner in which his team responded to Sunday’s Premier League defeat at Arsenal that left them 11 points behind the Premier League leaders. But he came as close as he comes to an emotional outpouring when evaluating Rashford’s remarkable progress that was confirmed by a brilliant opening goal here, when he ran half the length of the pitch and between two Forest defenders before switching the ball from right foot to left to score.

“There are more players who are playing really well but I am happy with Marcus, his performance and his development,” Ten Hag said. “From the start of the season he is growing and keeps doing that. We have to keep his process going and if he is in that mood and spirit, I think he is unstoppable.

“It is up to the team to get him in the right positions. In possession we have a plan, [but it is up to some players like] like Rashy, Bruno [Fernandes] and Christian Eriksen to be creative in the final third and do something no one expects, some crazy stuff.”

Forest could be forgiven for focusing on their next Premier League game away to Leeds a week on Sunday and Cooper accepts the second leg at Old Trafford next Wednesday will be about more than trying to achieve a miraculous comeback.

“It’s going to be incredibly difficult,” he said. “It was going to be that anyway but it’s going to be three times that now. We’ve got to set some objectives so that we come out of the next game better than we go into it.”

Ten Hag was also gratified to see Wout Weghorst score his first goal for United but took as a warning the counterattack that allowed Forest to believe they had equalised before Sam Surridge was adjudged offside. “There was one moment that could have changed it and we have to avoid that,” he said. “That is a learning moment to develop a really good team [after] the first 20 minutes was all ours. Then we allow them to come back in the game and that can’t happen, it is a learning moment. The second half was much better, much more calm.”


Peter Lansley at the City Ground

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Jadon Sancho can be match-winner for Manchester United, insists Ten Hag
Erik ten Hag believes Jadon Sancho can be a match-winner for Manchester United after the forward returned during the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg win over Nottingham Forest

Jamie Jackson at Old Trafford

01, Feb, 2023 @11:38 PM

Article image
Manchester United boosted by Marcus Rashford return for Sevilla clash
Manchester United take on Sevilla in their Europa League quarter-final second leg boosted by the return of Rashford, Shaw, Sabitzer and Malacia

Sid Lowe

19, Apr, 2023 @8:28 PM

Article image
Erik ten Hag urges Rashford to help Manchester United be best in the world
Manchester United manager hopes the in-form striker will extend his contract next year and backed Antony to improve performances

Jamie Jackson

24, Jan, 2023 @10:30 PM

Article image
Rashford eases Manchester United to first-leg win over Nottingham Forest
Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final as Wout Weghorst scored his first goal for the club

Peter Lansley at the City Ground

25, Jan, 2023 @10:04 PM

Article image
Manchester United see off Nottingham Forest to reach Carabao Cup final
Goals from Anthony Martial and Fred secured a comfortable 2-0 win to add to their 3-0 first leg victory to take United into the final against Newcastle

Jamie Jackson at Old Trafford

01, Feb, 2023 @9:56 PM

Article image
Erik ten Hag delights in ending Manchester United trophy drought
Erik ten Hag spoke of his delight after ending Manchester United’s six years without a trophy by beating Newcastle 2-0 in the Carabao Cup final

Jamie Jackson at Wembley

26, Feb, 2023 @8:51 PM

Article image
In Erik ten Hag, Manchester United finally have a grownup in the room | Barney Ronay
After a decade of entropy, the Dutchman’s simple competence has the club enjoying the present and looking to the future

Barney Ronay at Wembley

26, Feb, 2023 @8:59 PM

Article image
Erik ten Hag backs captain Fernandes as Manchester United’s ‘inspiration’
Erik ten Hag says Manchester United need to reset from the 7-0 humiliation at Liverpool and praised Bruno Fernandes

Jamie Jackson

08, Mar, 2023 @1:31 PM

Article image
Marcus Rashford: ‘Out on the pitch. That’s where I get my happiness’
Revitalised Manchester United forward has achieved a record goal tally this season and is aiming for more at Wembley

Jamie Jackson

24, Feb, 2023 @10:30 PM

Article image
Manchester United and Marcus Rashford allow Burton little consolation
Manchester United’s 4-1 Carabao Cup win was kickstarted by Marcus Rashford’s double, though Burton’s Lloyd Dyer scored the first goal for an away side at Old Trafford this season

Jamie Jackson at Old Trafford

20, Sep, 2017 @10:26 PM