Erik ten Hag challenges Alejandro Garnacho to aim high after wonder goal

Erik ten Hag believes Alejandro Garnacho has the talent to do “amazing things” for Manchester United but insisted it would be wrong to compare the teenager to Wayne Rooney or Cristiano Ronaldo after his stunning overhead kick against Everton.

The 19-year-old evoked memories of Rooney’s goal against Manchester City in 2011 and Ronaldo’s strike for Real Madrid against Juventus in the 2018 Champions League quarter‑finals with a remarkable finish from Diogo Dalot’s cross at Goodison Park.

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Ten Hag was delighted with how United handled a hostile environment before trips to Galatasaray and Newcastle this week, with Everton fans protesting against their club’s 10-point penalty for breaching financial rules.

And while praising Garnacho for an “incredible, fantastic” goal, the United manager insisted the forward needs to produce such magic more regularly to earn comparisons with former Old Trafford greats.

“Don’t compare, I don’t think it’s right,” said Ten Hag when the Rooney and Ronaldo comparison was put to him. “They all have their own identity. For Garnacho to go that way he has to work very hard and do it on a consistent basis. So far he has not, but he definitely has high potential to do some amazing things.

“It is not the first time we see this, we see often glimpses, but if you want to be a player like Rooney or Ronaldo you have to score 20, 25 goals in the Premier League. It’s not easy to get, you have to work very hard and go in ways where it hurts. A lot to come but he has potential.”

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Marcus Rashford took the game away from a profligate Everton with a second-half penalty. It was only the striker’s second goal of the season for United and the penalty was handed to him by the captain, Bruno Fernandes, in an attempt to boost his confidence.

Fernandes, United’s usual penalty taker, said: “Marcus needed a bit of confidence, he needed his goal – he is an excellent penalty taker. I was sure he could score that penalty and Marcus did it perfectly. I think strikers and wingers need to score goals, it is part of their game. Marcus last season was amazing so expectations have been higher and it is just about getting those goals back.”