Andre Onana says he decided to "stand up and fight" after a tough start to life at Manchester United.

The Red Devils are preparing to face Manchester City in the FA Cup final for a second consecutive season on Saturday after a poor campaign saw them finish in their lowest-ever league position in the Premier League.

Certain players were singled out throughout the season due to their performances, with Onana coming under fire for a string of errors early on after taking over from David de Gea when he joined from Inter last July.

However, the goalkeeper was adamant he did not let the criticism get to him.

"I arrived as the best goalkeeper in the world and 'boom' it went down. It was like 'What happened?'," he said.

"But that is how difficult football is sometimes. It depends if you want to stay down there or stand up and fight. I know what I did to arrive here. I know who I am. I decided to stand up and fight."

Onana compared his experience to that of teammate Marcus Rashford, who was left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2024 after scoring just eight goals this season.

"We are talking about the same player [Rashford]. So now he's a bad player? No. You can have a bad season or a bad start, but the most important thing is how you end," he added.

"Rashy, for me, is one of the best players in the world. But he is facing difficulty. It's not only him and me, but the whole club.

"But he will come back. I know my killer will score some important goals for us. Hopefully, against City, he will score two, and we win the FA Cup."

There is also a lot of speculation around the club concerning the future of Erik ten Hag, with reports suggesting he could be relieved of his position no matter the result in Saturday’s final.

Onana, however, has thrown his support behind his manager, who he also worked with at Ajax for five years.

The Cameroon international said: "I'm not here to back him because he's big enough to back himself, but he's a really good guy, a positive coach and, tactically, he is good.

"If he had all his squad together, it would probably be different for him, for us, the club and the fans."

Erik ten Hag urged a "highly motivated" Marcus Rashford to use his England disappointment as "fuel" ahead of this weekend's FA Cup final.

Rashford was omitted from Gareth Southgate's provisional 33-man squad for the upcoming European Championship this week, following a disappointing season in which he has scored just eight goals.

The forward struck 30 times during the 2022-23 campaign, but has struggled to build on that momentum this term.

Rashford will hope to feature at Wembley as United face rivals Manchester City in a repeat of last year's final, needing to win to ensure they do not miss out on European football for the first time in 10 years.

And Ten Hag is backing the 26-year-old to respond to his setback in a positive manner.

"He looks good," the United head coach said. "A career has ups and downs, and a down can also give you fuel and that is what I see in training.

"So, he will be highly motivated. He is very talented and already has a big career, and I am sure he will get over this and make even more goals."

One of Rashford's finer moments of the season came against City when he opened the scoring with a stunning 25-yard strike in a 3-1 defeat at the Etihad in March.

Two months on - and at the conclusion of a difficult season blighted by injuries to several key players - Ten Hag believes United are in a stronger position to compete with their rivals.

"At the Etihad, we were very good in the game for 70 minutes, and had opportunities to go ahead," the Dutchman added. 

"They could substitute, but we didn't have the players on the bench. That is a big difference. On Saturday, we will have a bench and will have a much stronger side."

Gareth Southgate says Jordan Henderson will "be a miss" after omitting the midfielder from his preliminary 33-man England squad for Euro 2024.

Henderson has 81 senior caps for England but saw his place fiercely debated after joining Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq last year from Liverpool.

The 33-year-old was booed by some England fans during a friendly win over Australia last October, having suggested his presence in Saudi Arabia could be a "positive" thing for LGBTQ+ rights in the country in a widely criticised interview with The Athletic.

In January, he secured a move to Ajax but has only made nine Eredivisie appearances as the former Dutch champions finished fifth.

Asked about Henderson’s absence, Southgate said: "[Jordan Henderson] will be a miss. He's an exceptional individual and a fantastic human being. He's been in that leadership role for a long time.

"We've got young players with a lot of caps. There's no reason why young players can't lead.

"The 33 isn’t quite a fair definition because we’re taking a longer squad with some younger players to look at. Hendo has given himself every chance.

"From the last camp, he missed five weeks through injury, and he hasn’t been able to get to that tempo since then. It’s a big call to make, the three players from last time, he, Ben [White] and Marcus [Rashford] all had excellent professionalism."

Marcus Rashford is another one of the names overlooked after a poor season for Manchester United.

He scored just seven goals in 33 Premier League games this campaign after netting 30 in all competitions for the Red Devils in 2022-23.

"These are of course difficult calls," Southgate added when asked about Rashford.

"You are talking about players that are very important players. With Marcus, in that area of the pitch, I feel that other players have had better seasons, it’s as simple as that."

Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson have been omitted from Gareth Southgate's 33-man preliminary squad for England's Euro 2024 campaign.

Rashford scored 30 goals in all competitions for Manchester United in 2022-23 and has been a fixture in Southgate's England squads, but a dismal 2023-24 campaign has led to him being overlooked.

He scored seven goals in 33 Premier League appearances this season, making it his second worst campaign since netting five times as a teenager in 2016-17. He scored just four times under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick in 2021-22.

Newcastle United's Anthony Gordon has benefitted from Rashford's drop-off, receiving the call-up ahead of June's warm-up friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland.

Henderson, meanwhile, has seen his England place fiercely debated since he left Liverpool to join Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq last year. 

The 33-year-old was booed by some England fans during a friendly win over Australia last October, having suggested his presence in Saudi Arabia could be a "positive" thing for LGBTQ+ rights in the country in a widely criticised interview with The Athletic.

Henderson – who has 81 senior England caps – swapped Al-Ettifaq for Ajax in January in a bid to ensure he made Southgate's squad, but that effort has been unsuccessful. 

Henderson made nine Eredivisie appearances for Ajax in 2023-24, failing to prevent them from finishing fifth, their lowest position since 1999-00 (also fifth).

His exclusion, which could spell the end of his international career, has opened the door for a surprise call-up for Adam Wharton, who has excelled since joining Crystal Palace from Blackburn Rovers in January.

The 20-year-old, who has only been capped once at under-21 level, contributed to a stunning upturn under Oliver Glasner as Palace clinched a top-half Premier League finish.

Palace have won 24 points in 13 Premier League games under Glasner. From his first match on February 24 onwards, only Manchester City (35), Arsenal (34) and Chelsea (28) bettered their tally.

Wharton's Palace team-mate Eberechi Eze is also in after scoring 11 goals and registering four assists in 2023-24, while Liverpool's Curtis Jones is another uncapped midfielder to make the squad.

Elsewhere, Southgate has several fitness concerns among his defensive cohort, and Chelsea full-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell are two big-name omissions after enduring injury-hit campaigns. 

Chilwell, who also missed the 2022 World Cup through injury, was limited to just 756 minutes across 13 Premier League appearances this campaign. 

James, meanwhile, returned from a long-term hamstring injury in a 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest recently, but saw his season end one game early when he was sent off in a victory over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Liverpool's Jarell Quansah, Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite, Palace's Marc Guehi and Brighton and Hove Albion's Lewis Dunk have all been included at centre-back alongside regular starters Harry Maguire and John Stones, while Luke Shaw is also in despite missing long periods through injury.

Captain Harry Kane is also present after missing the end of Bayern Munich's season with a back issue, which required him to travel back to England to undergo treatment.

Southgate will cut his squad down to 26 players after England face Iceland in their final pre-tournament friendly at Wembley Stadium on June 7.

Full 33-man squad: Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), James Trafford (Burnley), Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Jarell Quansah (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

Erik ten Hag claims Manchester United will have over-achieved if they win the FA Cup this season.

Ten Hag and his team have faced criticism after edging past Championship side Coventry on penalties in the semi-finals, having been 3-0 up with 20 minutes to go.

They will take on Manchester City in a repeat of last year’s final hoping to exact revenge and, despite their league struggles, Ten Hag was bullish about what that would mean.

United could miss out on European football altogether, but the Red Devils boss believes the club’s struggles with injury this campaign are a major mitigating factor.

“I would say it’s over-performing with all the problems we have had,” said the Dutchman of the possibility of silverware.

“Getting into the final is already a big achievement, but we are here for trophies. We have an opportunity to win a trophy and that is good. But we are not satisfied by being in the final, we want to win it and that is what we will go for and it’s our mentality.

“That is why we are successful. That’s why I am successful over 10 years as a manager, I always bring out the maximum of each squad.”

Ten Hag was in a combative mood in the press room ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Sheffield United, branding the media reaction to his side’s cup display “embarrassing” and “a disgrace”.

Many fans were also critical and Ten Hag added of the late collapse: “We were not happy with it. I can see the fans are not happy with it as well, but they get fed by opinions.

“But all over, what I heard is that the fans are very happy we are again in the FA Cup final. Even for Manchester United, it is not business as usual, they were not so often in the FA Cup final and they were never in the FA Cup final two times in a row.”

United’s injury problems continued on Sunday, with Alejandro Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay all picking up issues, and the latter two are doubtful for Wednesday.

Casemiro could again be required in defence, while United’s bench at the weekend featured five teenagers.

“We will put a team out that is capable of winning the match, even if we have to be really creative,” said Ten Hag.

One of the players who will be hoping for a start is 21-year-old Amad Diallo, who has featured five times as a substitute over the past couple of months.

“Amad deserves it, but don’t forget he had a long period in the season injured, so we rebuilt him and now he has had some opportunities and a real contribution,” said Ten Hag.

“He played in a position that is not his best position. He started as a striker and then he had to play in the midfield, so he did well. We have a number of players in that area, there is big competition.

“But I am very happy with his performances and his progress, I see his qualities and his assets can really contribute to our game.”

Aston Villa were relegated from the Premier League following a 1-0 defeat away to Manchester United on this day in 2016.

Marcus Rashford’s 32nd-minute goal condemned Villa to the second tier of English football for the first time in 28 years.

Rudy Gestede hit the post with a volley late on but there was no delaying what was by then the inevitable.

It was a ninth straight defeat and 24th of the campaign for Villa in a dire season.

They would finish with only three wins and 17 points, half the tally of 19th-placed Norwich, and 22 points adrift of safety.

Villa, the 1982 European Cup winners, had been part of the Premier League since its inception and in the top flight since 1988.

But the 2015-16 season quickly turned into a horror show and they had been bottom of the table since the start of November.

Manager Remi Garde had left the previous month and Villa travelled to Old Trafford under the leadership of caretaker boss Eric Black, who never had any realistic hope of turning the tide as fans turned on the club’s American owner Randy Lerner.

At Old Trafford they were comfortably outplayed by Louis van Gaal’s United side, who were in a tight battle with neighbours City for fourth place and Champions League football – one in which they would ultimately come out second best on goal difference.

Villa spent the next three seasons in the Championship before returning to the top flight via the play-offs in 2019.

Erik ten Hag has said Manchester United signing a proven goalscorer this summer “would help” – while stressing the striking options with which they entered the current season “should have been enough”.

Having last term finished third in the Premier League and won the Carabao Cup in their first campaign under Ten Hag’s management, United have subsequently underwhelmed.

With seven games to go in the league, they lie sixth, 11 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, as well as fifth-placed Aston Villa, and have the lowest goals-for tally in the top 10 with 45.

Twenty-one-year-old striker Rasmus Hojlund has netted 13 times in all competitions since being signed last summer to join an attack also featuring Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Rashford has eight United goals to his name for 2023-24, and Martial – sidelined since groin surgery in January, with Ten Hag unsure if he will be available again before the end of the season – two.

Asked at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Bournemouth how vital it was that United sign a proven hitman this summer, Ten Hag said: “I think it would help.

“In this plan we constructed we should have had enough goals. You count on goals from Rashy – last season he scored 30. You count on goals from Martial – in my first season he played very well and also in very important games he had a high impact on our performances.

“And then bringing a goalscorer like Rasmus Hojlund in, it should have been enough goals.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe became minority owner at United in February, taking control of football operations.

A change was confirmed this week as the club on Tuesday announced John Murtough was stepping down as football director, and United are looking to bring in Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth and Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox.

Ten Hag said with regard to the summer: “We are working in the background on plans with scouting. We are working on our plan, the plan is ready, but it has to execute, and I trust the new ownership that they will work as quick as possible and bring new good structures and that they can execute.

“We have good plans, I think also with quality players. You see now about recruitment: (Andre) Onana is doing very well, Rasmus Hojlund, everyone is seeing his big talent and potential. (Lisandro) Martinez, everyone was hugely happy with him, and there are others.

“So the recruitment is good. But if they (new directors) have even better ideas, we are always open. If you have options but they come with better options we are open.

“But we have a way we want to play, so we know our profiles, so it has to match the profiles we want.”

As well as the changes to the club hierarchy, the season has seen United – currently assessing Rashford, as well as midfielder Scott McTominay ahead of the Bournemouth game – hit by considerable injury problems, while there have also been other issues involving players such as that which led to Jadon Sancho leaving for Borussia Dortmund on loan in January.

Asked about the challenges, Ten Hag said: “The thing is, you have to be realistic – as a manager, it’s like a minister, you don’t have anything in your hands but at the end of the day, and that is what you have to accept, you are responsible for everything. And I take that.

“Some things… it just happens, and then you have to make the best out of it.”

He added: “This business, this industry, is about results and many see only the results, but you have to see also what’s underneath. I see underneath and I see the potential. I see the direction. So I’m positive in the way we want to go, and we will be successful.”

Erik ten Hag has urged his Manchester United players to “bring big games over the line” ahead of their Premier League clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.

United have dropped five points from winning positions in their last two games, with the most recent missed opportunity coming against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

Cole Palmer scored twice deep in second half added-time as the Blues stole all three points in a dramatic 4-3 victory over ten Hag’s outfit.

Mason Mount thought he had found the winner with his strike in the sixth minute of stoppage time against Brentford, but Kristoffer Ajer equalised three minutes later in a 1-1 draw last Saturday at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Ten Hag admitted his side need to start getting over the line when leading games, seeking inspiration from previous victories over the league’s best.

“We can play to a very high standard. We can compete with the best and beat the best in the Premier League and when you can do that, you can also do it across Europe,” he said.

“We need to learn how to bring big games over the line, Saturday was an example.

“We have to step up, make better decisions individually and as a team.”

Thursday’s defeat in west London ended an unbeaten Premier League run against Chelsea which started in 2017.

Ten Hag wants his players to use the defeat as fuel going into their clash against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

He added: “We will see on Sunday (how to beat Liverpool).

“But I have to say first I have to deal with this, but we can’t deal with this long. We have to recover very quick. We have to turn this around.

“We will be in a positive mood. We will be looking forward. We have to take energy but we will be mad, angry. From anger you can take a lot of energy and that is how we have to do it.”

Marcus Rashford came off the bench at Stamford Bridge, but failed to have an impact on the night.

Ten Hag revealed the forward is as motivated as ever to help the team.

He said: “I think lately his form is progressing and so the time will always be right. I think he has a big motivation because he wants to be successful with us.

“He wants to score goals, but he wants to win trophies and contribute and we still have a chance in the FA Cup.

“He wants to fight for a Champions League spot and the Euros are coming so I will say his motivation should be high.

“And the form, that is a moment and he can change the momentum always. Before Brentford, he scored three goals in three games.”

Rio Ferdinand believes Marcus Rashford may have to leave Manchester United to reignite his career.

Rashford’s form has dipped this season in an inconsistent United side, scoring just eight goals in 36 appearances.

The 26-year-old’s off-field lifestyle has also come under the spotlight after he went to a party following October’s derby defeat by Manchester City and reportedly spent an evening at a Belfast nightclub in January before missing the following day’s training due to illness.

Former United defender Ferdinand feels Rashford, whose place in the England squad for Euro 2024 this summer could be in jeopardy, needs to look at the people he surrounds himself with and possibly make a fresh start elsewhere.

“I think it’s a pivotal moment in his career now, he’s not a kid anymore,” Ferdinand told Sky Bet’s Stick to Football podcast.

“I think there’s a big decision to make, from him. He’s got to look at who’s around him, who are the external people? Are they the right people?

“Are they enabling him to make excuses for himself behind closed doors? Or are they saying ‘look at yourself and be accountable for what you are doing’?

“He needs to look at that and own that and make big decisions.

“When I left West Ham (for Leeds) I could have gone to Chelsea, that’s probably a club I would have preferred to go to at the time. But the reason I went to Leeds was it was out of London and the external people around me, I needed to get away from.

“He might need to go ‘you know what, I’ll get rid of them and stay in Manchester, or I’ve got leave Manchester and get rid of those people’.”

Former United captain Roy Keane suggested a more old-school approach to get Rashford firing again.

He said: “We make excuses for him. There’s a structure, a team around him. There’s no question mark about his ability but there’s something amiss with him.

“A player can have an off spell, or a dip, but he’s certainly not enjoying his football.

“The people around him, family, the manager, who’s on his case every day? There’s nothing wrong with the old fashioned kick up the a*** and going ‘come on, we need more from you’.

“I don’t think there’s anybody on his case. But that doesn’t mean he can’t produce and start running a bit more.”

Gareth Southgate has warned that Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish face a battle from England’s up-and-coming talent to make his European Championship squad.

Among the favourites to lift the trophy in Germany, the Euro 2020 runners-up continue preparations with March friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.

This summer’s tournament sees squads go from 26 back to 23-strong selections, meaning some high-profile players are in danger of missing the cut in well-stocked areas.

Grealish faces a fight to feature while Rashford, who has gone to England’s last four tournaments, is the same having under-performed for Manchester United in a season when his Belfast escapades in January made headlines.

Southgate said: “Well, (Rashford) has a battle on his hands with (Anthony) Gordon, with (Cole) Palmer, with (Phil) Foden, so we’ve got big competition for places in that area of the field,” Southgate said.

“What happens while players are with their clubs is club matters because they know the full story, they know exactly what’s gone on. Obviously we observe everything, we don’t miss anything.

“I don’t say behaviours off the field are irrelevant because clearly they’re not. But the key thing is we are mainly focusing on the performances on the field.

“He’s got big competition and so has Jack.

“These guys are playing well – Gordon, (Jarrod) Bowen. They’re scoring regularly, they perform well for the team, they defend well, they work hard, they compete and we’ve got really good options in that area of the pitch.”

Asked if there is a chance Rashford might not make the Euros considering the competition facing him, Southgate said: “I can’t guarantee anybody.

“We have to have an environment where…we know in certain positions who our best players might be.

“Kalvin Phillips I think is still in that position but, at this minute, I can’t go with that, so I’m hoping he can hit that form.

“We know what Marcus can bring to us but equally everybody has got to perform well between now and the end of the season. That’s the environment we’re in.”

Phillips was left out of March’s double-header due to his struggles for form and minutes since joining West Ham on loan in January but Southgate believes he could turn it around in time for the Euros.

There appears less chance of fellow Euro 2020 regular Mason Mount being involved after an injury-impacted end to life at Chelsea was followed by a stop-start time with United.

“The first step for him is to get back playing regularly for Manchester United,” Southgate said as the midfielder prepares to return from a four month lay-off.

“He’s had the best part of 15 months (sidelined), really, because the end of Chelsea he didn’t play with the injury.

“So, he’s got to get back playing, he’s got to find the rhythm, find the fitness, the sharpness.

“But, again, we know what he’s capable of, so he’s somebody that we’ve kept contact with through that period.

“But at the moment you’d have to say he’s an outside bet. I think he would accept that.

“But it’s possible, he’s just got to, like they all have, play well for his club.”

One player playing regularly in a top European league that definitely will not be in England’s Euros squad is Mason Greenwood.

The 22-year-old was suspended by United in January 2022 over allegations relating to a young woman after images and videos were posted online.

Greenwood faced charges including attempted rape and assault but the Crown Prosecution Service announced in February 2023 that the case had been discontinued.

The one-cap England forward has recommenced his career on loan at LaLiga outfit Getafe on loan and Jamaica are interested in him switching to their national set-up.

“Well, for me, I don’t think it’s something for pre-Euros,” Southgate said.

“I think allowing him to get his career going again abroad appears to have been a good move but I have to say I have not tracked it closely.

“I think at this moment in time that would be a big distraction for the team and let’s see where that leads next season.

“I would need to know more details about the whole thing before it was an option.”

Erik ten Hag says Manchester United have no intention of selling Marcus Rashford this summer.

After signing a new five-year deal after hitting 30 goals last season, the 26-year-old academy product has scored just seven times in a poor campaign for all connected to the club.

Rashford was this week again linked with a move to Paris St Germain, which could provide United with a huge windfall at a time of Premier League profit and sustainability considerations.

It would represent pure profit on that front as he is a homegrown player but Ten Hag says financial benefits are outweighed by the importance of the forward to the future.

“We didn’t re-sign him last season for (five) years with the intention to sell him, no,” Ten Hag said.

“He should be part of this project, so that is not a subject we talk about.”

Ten Hag was speaking ahead of Sunday’s crunch FA Cup quarter-final against rivals Liverpool – a match that may go some way to deciding whether the manager remains part of the now Ineos-led project.

Injury-hit United have endured a tough season and need to overcome Jurgen Klopp’s side at Old Trafford to keep their last remaining hope of silverware alive.

They sit sixth in the Premier League and face an uphill battle to qualify for the Champions League but Ten Hag hopes Sunday can act as a catalyst to transform their season.

“Actually, we never got to turn around so far,” Ten Hag said. “We had our opportunities, but we missed the opportunities (to turn things around).

“Sunday we have another good opportunity to get the momentum. I think the players, the team showed lately from January on we are in a very good series of games with a lot of wins, so they have to believe they can do it. Now we have to take the momentum.

“That is also what I feel when I train with them, during and around the games; that they have that belief, a good confidence, good spirit is there in the team. Go and play and get the turnaround.”

United are underdogs heading into the quarter-final but Ten Hag expects to be boosted by the return to fitness of Rasmus Hojlund, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The latter is set to return after two months out, with centre-back Maguire and striker Hojlund back after missing three and four games respectively.

“We had a good week,” Ten Hag said. “The players you mention returned on the pitch. Partly at the start of the week and today we had a session and they were all training.

“I think (they are available). We have tomorrow one session. Of course, we have to see how they recover from this but it looks good.”

Ten Hag also provided a positive update on Mason Mount – who has been kept out for four months with a calf issue – and says Tom Heaton is back with fellow goalkeeper Altay Bayindir out.

“Tom Heaton is back as well,” he said. “Also, it was very good Mason Mount trained also (the) whole week with us.

“First part of the week also partly but then also he had some full sessions with us, so it’s looking good.”

Lisandro Martinez, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia remain sidelined, while Jonny Evans has been dealing with calf and thigh problems recently.

United said “his game-time has been carefully managed”, which is why he has not been included in Northern Ireland’s squad for their March internationals.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag hailed the defensive discipline of his team despite them once again conceding more than 20 shots in their 2-0 Premier League victory over Everton.

James Tarkowski hacked down Alejandro Garnacho  inside the box 12 minutes in and Bruno Fernandes tucked into the right corner from the resulting spot kick to put United 1-0 to the good.

Garnacho won another penalty in the 34th minute after Ben Godfrey flew in on the Argentinian and this time Fernandes handed the ball to Marcus Rashford who sent Jordan Pickford the wrong way for his seventh goal of the season.

Everton continued to press in the second period but their 23 shots were in vein as United bounced back from two defeats on the spin.

Manchester City had 27 shots at their goal while winning the derby last week, but after allowing a number of chances again today, ten Hag said: “If you see their xG is not that high and ours is much higher.

“It is their gameplan, obviously. We have players who feel comfortable to defend low. But you have to be disciplined and you have to incorporate it very well.

“It was a team performance, especially our back four with the keeper and Casemiro. They have done very well.

“You see the chances, they had some, also I think the way we defended set-plays was very good.

“We were really organised and we were focused – everyone did their job. There was one or two second phases where they we had some opportunities, but all over we did quite well.”

Garnacho went over in the box to win both penalties and was by far United’s best player in another sub-par performance at Old Trafford.

Boss ten Hag expressed his joy of working with the Argentinian but knows there are still vast areas to improve.

He added: “I love to work with Garnacho and many other players in the squad but he is a player who likes a challenge. Brave, confident and our job is to push him to high level but he is doing this. He has high potential.

“When you are young you don’t know what it is to play in a high competitive league and perform every third day.

“You don’t know you have to perform every training session. You need a lot of skills to be the best.”

Everton’s woes in front of goal continued despite their best efforts, including good chances from Abdoulaye Doucoure, Amadou Onana and Dwight McNeil.

The Toffees have scored just 14 open play goals this season and boss Sean Dyche knows his side have to find confidence in front of goal.

He said: “Very frustrating, as you can imagine and we have had a run of that where we have been performing correctly in so many ways.

“The most important thing is the scoreline, that’s the biggest stat and we’ve got on the wrong side of it, we have to work on it.

“I don’t know what teams have come here and had that many efforts on goal and chances but we’ve got to get hurt to score goals as sometimes Brian Clough used to say. That’s what I’m not seeing.

“They are working, the shape is good, the football played is pleasing and so it’s frustrating to not see that come to fruition with scoring more goals because they’re doing a lot right.”

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford struck from the spot as sloppy Manchester United rode their luck in an unconvincing 2-0 win against relegation-threatened Everton.

Erik ten Hag’s side stuttered on Saturday lunchtime but managed to end a run of back-to-back Premier League defeats and keep their Champions League qualification quest alive.

United struggled for large periods against out-of-form Everton, who had 23 shots but paid the price for twice shooting themselves in the foot in the first half.

James Tarkowski clumsily brought down Alejandro Garnacho after a bright Toffees start, with captain Fernandes converting the resulting spot-kick in front of the Stretford End.

Sean Dyche’s men settled and continued to threaten, only to be punished by a Rashford penalty after Ben Godfrey fouled lively Argentina international Garnacho.

United continued to offer Everton a way back into the match but they failed to capitalise – something you would not expect Liverpool to struggle with in next weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final.

The Toffees began this topsy-turvy encounter on top, but the sleepy hosts still managed a couple of efforts before taking a 12th minute lead at Old Trafford.

Tarkowski caught Garnacho as he cut back and, after a swift VAR check, Fernandes’ hit a spot-kick just out of Jordan Pickford’s reach into the bottom right-hand corner.

Dwight McNeil volleyed narrowly wide as Everton looked to put that disappointment behind them, with United academy graduate James Garner testing Andre Onana before Amadou Onana mishit the follow-up.

McNeil lasered across the face of goal as Everton continued to prove a nuisance, although that effort came shortly after Pickford stopped Fernandes scoring his second.

The United skipper took aim with a 22 yard free-kick that was heading home in front of the Stretford End until a one-handed stop that drew applause around the ground.

But Pickford can only do so much, and Everton were soon made to rue their missed opportunities.

Godfrey’s clumsy attempt to halt Garnacho drive led referee Simon Hooper to point to the spot, with Rashford stepping up to send his England team-mate the wrong way.

Everton were perhaps fortunate not to concede a third penalty before half-time after Vitalii Mykolenko stopped a Garnacho a cutback with an arm.

United, too, walked a fine line in the closing stages of the first half, with Jonny Evans coughing up possession and McNeil seeing a strike blocked.

Play continued in a similarly open, chaotic pattern after the break.

Abdoulaye Doucoure was denied by Andre Onana at his near post in-between Garnacho lashing narrowly over and just failing to cleanly meet a teasing Fernandes cross.

The United skipper saw a low shot tipped around the post by Pickford, who did well to stop United stabbing home during a melee from the corner that followed.

Andre Onana had to deal with pinball in his own box soon after and United just avoided an Everton goal in the 76th minute.

Godfrey’s header was met by a Lewis Dobbin cross-shot that just evaded fellow substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin at the far post.

Everton continued to knock at the door and United tried to expose the gaps they were leaving, but neither side had the quality to add to the scoreline.

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has hit back following criticism concerning his commitment to the club.

The 26-year-old England international has faced questions this season for issues both on and off the field.

Last month Rashford was under the spotlight after reportedly being seen in a Belfast nightclub before missing the following day’s training due to illness and he subsequently missed United’s FA Cup tie against Newport.

However, in a piece for the Players’ Tribune website, Rashford has responded to his critics, asking them to show “a bit more humanity”.

“When I make a mistake, I’ll be the first one to put my hand up and say that I need to do better,” he wrote.

“But if you ever question my commitment to Man United, that’s when I have to speak up. It’s like somebody questioning my entire identity, and everything I stand for as a man.

“I grew up here. I have played for this club since I was a boy. My family turned down life-changing money when I was a kid so I could wear this badge.

“I can take any criticism. I can take any headline. From podcasts, social media and the papers. I can take it.

“But if you start questioning my commitment to this club and my love for football and bringing my family into it, then I’d simply ask you to have a bit more humanity.”

Rashford came under scrutiny in October last year after attending a nightclub party following United’s 3-0 home derby defeat to Manchester City.

He has also faced criticism for performances on the pitch having scored only five goals in 32 appearances across all competitions this season.

The forward suggested there is a “tone” to media coverage surrounding him, which he believes may stem from his campaigning for free school meals during the pandemic in which he was made an MBE.

Rashford added: “I’m not trying to have a go at the media. I understand the game, you know what I mean? They’re not really writing about me. It’s like they’re writing about this character, ‘Marcus Rashford.’

“It can’t just be about me as a 26-year-old lad on a night out, or a lad getting a parking ticket. It’s got to be about how much my car costs, guessing my weekly salary, my jewellery or even my tattoos.

“It’s got to be about my body language, and questioning my morals, and speculating about my family, and my football future.

“There’s a tone to it that you don’t get with all footballers. Let’s just leave it at that.

“I think some of it goes back to the pandemic. I was just trying to use my voice to make sure that kids weren’t going hungry, because I know exactly how it feels.

“For some reason, that seemed to rub certain people the wrong way. It seems like they’ve been waiting for me to have a human moment so they can point the finger and say, ‘See? See who he really is?’.”

Kobbie Mainoo’s dramatic late winner fired Manchester United to a stunning 4-3 win at Wolves as Marcus Rashford shook off any Belfast blues.

The 18-year-old midfielder’s first Premier League goal shocked Molineux in stoppage time after Pedro Neto’s leveller looked to have snatched a point for the hosts just two minutes earlier.

Pablo Sarabia’s penalty and Max Kilman’s close-range strike had given Wolves – who initially came back from 2-0 and 3-1 down – hope either side of Scott McTominay’s second-half header.

Rashford had earlier scored and helped assist Rasmus Hojlund after being disciplined by boss Erik ten Hag.

He called in sick on Friday and was omitted from the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup win at Newport having reportedly gone drinking in Belfast last week.

But it was an excellent comeback from Rashford, with United – who climb to seventh in the Premier League – inflicting Wolves’ first home defeat since September to end their seven-game unbeaten run.

Rashford was reportedly doing tequila shots during his Belfast bender and those in charge of the music on Thursday clearly saw the funny side, playing the Terrorvision hit Tequila before kick-off.

But the England forward enjoys Molineux and last season the 26-year-old was benched for being late for a team meeting before coming on to score the winner.

This time he took just four-and-a-half minutes to start his new redemption arc.

When Bruno Fernandes dummied Alejandro Garnacho’s low delivery Wolves were in trouble, and it got worse when Hojlund held the ball up and teed up Rashford on the edge of the box.

The striker then curled a fine effort beyond Jose Sa for his third goal in his last four games.

United, with two wins in their previous eight league matches, belied their poor form with an energetic start and Casemiro shot wide.

Wolves, though, managed to find some momentum – with Matheus Cunha threatening – only for the visitors to snuff out any recovery with a second goal after 23 minutes.

Again, Rashford was involved when he collected Garnacho’s pass and slipped in the overlapping Luke Shaw to deliver a low cross for Hojlund to bundle in ahead of Craig Dawson.

It sparked the United fans into chanting ‘Rashford’s on the p***’ as they cheekily saluted the striker.

Casemiro nodded Fernandes’ free-kick wide and Hojlund almost embarrassed Sa when he charged down his clearance, only for the ball to rebound wide.

The openings kept coming with Raphael Varane firing over and Hojlund’s celebrations were cut short a minute before half-time when he had a goal disallowed by an offside flag.

In stoppage time Casemiro also had a header ruled out and the one-way traffic continued after the break when Dawson blocked Fernandes’ effort.

It had been Wolves’ worst display of the season but they almost pulled a goal back after 49 minutes, only for Lisandro Martinez to clear Kilman’s header off the line.

Yet United remained on top and Wolves survived when Toti lost possession to Garnacho but Sa spared his blushes by saving Holjund’s effort.

There looked no way back for the hosts when Andre Onana saved Dawson’s deflected strike with his face but they grabbed a lifeline after 71 minutes when Casemiro clipped Neto in the box.

Sarabia buried the penalty – after a long VAR check – but United hit back just four minutes later when McTominay, with his first touch, nodded in Fernandes’ corner.

The hosts refused to go quietly, though, and Kilman hooked in from close range to make it 3-2 with five minutes left after Dawson’s shot was blocked.

There was belief Wolves could level and they did in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Neto fired in on the break.

But a chaotic ending was capped by Mainoo’s stunner when he rode two challenges and curled into the bottom corner in the seventh minute of added time.

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