Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag admitted Marcus Rashford’s red card changed everything for them in their 4-3 loss against Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League at the Parken on Wednesday night.
Manchester United took a 2-0 lead after Rasmus Højlund scored twice in the first half-hour. However, Marcus Rashford tried to get himself between the ball and Elias Jelert but caught the opposition player on the shin. The English forward was given a straight red card by referee Donatas Rumsas following the intervention of VAR.
Copenhagen made the most of the advantage of the opposition being one man down as they equalized before the half-time whistle was blown. However, Ten Hag was not happy with the referee’s decisions throughout the match.
“The red card changed everything,” Ten Hag said. “We then conceded two goals before half-time that should never have counted — the first was offside, their player was stood in front of André Onana, and the penalty [for the second] was very debatable.
“The red card was harsh. [Rashford] went for the ball, but the referee had such a long time to make it a red card. When you freeze it, it always looks worse. They took so long to make a red card of it.
“I’m very disappointed with the decisions, the game was never meant to be like this. Decisions have to be made, wrong decisions can be made, but three such tough decisions [went against us].”
United have now lost 9 of 17 games in all competitions this season. The Dutchman was disappointed but backed his team to deliver despite the setback.
“It’s clear. We are very disappointed because we play very good, started the game so well, our best minutes of the season,” he said. “But the squad is resilient. The whole season, so many decisions are against us, but every time, there is spirit and fight. We will keep going and it will turn in our favour.
“Football is a game of mistakes. We didn’t do everything right, even with 10 men, we dictated the game. We didn’t do everything, but we did many things right.”
Manchester United will next take on Luton Town at Old Trafford on Saturday.