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31st Dec 2022

Marcus Rashford reveals ‘internal discipline’ incident that saw him dropped before his Wolves heroics

Patrick McCarry

The England forward scored the winner after coming off the bench.

Marcus Rashford was sprung from the bench, after being dropped from Manchester United’s starting line-up, to score the winner against Wolves.

The 25-year-old was in top form at the World Cup and scored and made an assist in United’s last league win, over Nottingham Forest, as well as bagging a recent League Cup goal. Away to Wolves, Erk ten Hag opted to drop Rashford after a breach of club rules.

Pressed on why Rashford was not starting against Wolverhampton Wanderers, ten Hag said:

“No [details]. Our rules. Now focus on the game. He is in very good form and no-one can play all the games,” Ten Hag initially told BT Sport before revealing it was for “internal disciplinary” reasons.

Ahead of the game, Brazilian star Antony lifted his United jersey to display a message – Rest in Peace, Pelé – for the late footballing legend, who passed away earlier in the week.

Marcus Rashford to the rescue

With Antony and Alejandro Garnacho both missing gilt-edged chances and Anthony Martial quiet for long stretches, Erik ten Hag turned to Marcus Rashford for the second half.

Rashford unlocked the Wolves defence with a one-two, before shrugging off Nathan Collins and firing home what proved to be the winner. He thought he had doubled the lead, on 84 minutes, but the go was ruled out after a VAR review showed the ball had deflected it via touch off his hand.

While BT Sport awarded Marcus Rashford after his 45 minute stint – possibly with one eye on a post-match interview – United put forward Luke Shaw for a chat. Asked about Rashford, by Des Kelly, Shaw opted to focus on his teammate’s form.

“He is in a really good way at the moment,” said Shaw. Extremely confident, very positive. He is world class and he can be one of the best players in the world if he keeps going.”

When Kelly asked about ten Hag not being afraid to bench players not giving their all, Shaw commented:

“At a top club like this it has to be like that. There has to be discipline. The manager takes all of that into consideration. People have got away with silly things before. Like you’ve seen today, if you don’t do the little things right then you won’t play.”

Victory sees United climb to fourth in the Premier League table, still eight points back from leaders Arsenal.

Later in the post-match analysis, at Molineux, Marcus Rashford did emerge from the ‘Away’ dressing room to speak with the broadcaster. He revealed that the ‘internal disciplinary’ matter was.

“It’s the team rules and it is a mistake that can happen. I’m obviously disappointed not to play, but I understand the decision and I’m happy that we managed to win the game. Hopefully we can draw a line under it and move on.”

“I was little bit late for a team meeting,” he added. “I slept in – overslept – but it can happen.”

Erik ten Hag praised Rashford for his reaction to being dropped from the starting XI. He said:

“It’s good. After the decision, he came in, he was bright, lively and scored the goal. That was the right reaction.

“Of course [that is the end of the matter]. Everyone has to meet our rules and values. If you weren’t like this, this is the right answer.”

The former Ajax coach also praised Fred, another second half substitute, while he explained that Luke Shaw has done well as left-sided centre half in the last two games.

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