Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says there is much more to come from Marcus Rashford after his double earned an impressive 3-1 victory over Premier League leaders Arsenal.
Rashford scored twice in nine second-half minutes to restore United’s lead after Bukayo Saka had cancelled out debutant Antony’s dream first-half opener.
The 24-year-old twice raced clear in front of the Stretford End to score his first Premier League brace since December 2020 and raise hope of a possible England recall for the first time since Euro 2020.
Three Lions assistant boss Steve Holland was in attendance at Old Trafford and Gareth Southgate names his squad for upcoming Nations League matches next week.
Ten Hag, whose side have now won four in a row, said: “Marcus played a pressing game and he transferred really good.
“But we expect of him as a striker to be a target, dropping, to play over, linking, running behind, arriving in the box and of course scoring goals.
“I am really happy with the performance, it shows his development. Room for improvement is clear but he has great capabilities so I am happy with having him in the team.”
Ten Hag is also expecting big things from new boy Antony who marked his debut in style following his £80.6million move on transfer deadline day.
“I know what he can be, I talked before the game we needed that on the right wing,” the Dutchman said of his former Ajax player.
“With his pace, his dribbles, his pressing capabilities, he’s really good with that, we’ve seen that and at this moment he lacks a little bit of power, he missed some training, injury the last 10 days.
“You can see his potential. He has to work for it to get that, the intensity of the Premier League is going to be high and a challenge for him, but we’ve seen his potential today, it’s great he scored the first goal.”
The fourth successive win is United’s best Premier League run since April 2021 and they are just three points off Arsenal at the top of the table, despite a wretched start.
Ten Hag has moved to cool expectations that his side can challenge for the title this season.
He said: “I understand fans are dreaming, the standards of Manchester United has to be good, we’re at the start of a process, we’re still far away.
“We have to get doing things much better than we do, that’s an investment, we have to do that way together every day, we have to get better if you want to win trophies in the end.”
— Premier League (@premierleague) September 4, 2022
Arsenal saw their 100 per cent record taken away from them at Old Trafford but it might have been different had Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half goal not been ruled out by another contentious VAR decision.
Martinelli converted after Christian Eriksen had been robbed of possession but referee Paul Tierney ruled the Dane was fouled by Martin Odegaard after checking the pitchside monitor.
It continued a questionable weekend for the decision-review system and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta wants some consistency after more decisions went against them in midweek.
“I haven’t seen the action, they said it was a soft foul. It is just the consistency,” the Spaniard said.
“They said it was a foul on Bukayo Saka from (Tyrone) Mings and the penalty was not a penalty (in midweek). The foul on Aaron Ramsdale when we conceded against Villa was a goal.
“It is just consistency. There is nothing we can do now. It is too late. Just be consistent.”
Although they suffered their first defeat of the campaign, Arsenal controlled the game for large periods and said not many teams will visit Old Trafford and dominate in the way they did.
“We have to live consistently with the top teams and challenging at the top of this league you have to come here and play the way you play,” he said.
The boss reflects on #MUNARS 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 4, 2022
“To play the way they (Arsenal) did today, I don’t think you will see too many teams do this season.
“What I saw is a very different Arsenal team who came here and played the way we want to play against world-class players. Unfortunately we didn’t get the result we deserved.”