Marcus Rashford believes he and his Manchester United team-mates have David de Gea to thank for keeping them in their Carabao Cup semi-final with Manchester City, despite a comprehensive first-leg defeat.
United lost 3-1 at home on Tuesday night – in a match where they were thoroughly outplayed from start to finish.
The Red Devils found themselves three goals down inside the first 38 minutes at Old Traffford as Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and an Andreas Pereira own goal left their hopes in the competition in tatters.
Rashford pulled one back for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on 70 minutes but the forward believes it was the performance of goalkeeper De Gea and not his goal that should be credited for them having any hope for the return leg.
De Gea made several smart stops and Rashford praised the Spaniard – who has endured a disappointing season compared with his usual high-standards.
‘For me, it wasn’t the goal that gives us a chance,’ Rashford told the club’s official website, with the second leg set for January 29.
‘David made three or four world-class saves and that’s the reason we’re still in the tie. We have to understand that.
‘They changed a little bit from the last time we played against them. Maybe we have to adapt a little bit more on the pitch as players and try to control the game a little bit more. It’s tough against them – they’re a good team – but we have to expect more from ourselves.
‘It’s disappointing to lose the game. The first half wasn’t good enough. The second half was a little bit better and a little bit more like ourselves. But today we weren’t good enough to win the game. Now we have to focus on Norwich.’