Marcus Rashford insists Manchester United need to ‘keep improving’ following the club’s record-equalling 9-0 hammering of nine-man Southampton.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side equalled the Premier League‘s biggest ever winning margin during a dominant display, the visiting Saints facing an uphill task after debutant Alexandre Jankewitz was sent off after just 79 seconds for an ugly challenge on Scott McTominay.
The home side ruthlessly exposed their man advantage and were four goals up at half-time, goals from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford putting the Red Devils in complete control before a Jan Bednarek own goal and Edinson Cavani header before the break.
There was no letting up in the second period as the hosts pushed forward in search of further goals, Scott McTominay netting a fine effort before Bruno Fernandes, an Anthony Martial’s brace and a stoppage-time Daniel James effort made it nine without reply.
United became the first team in Premier League history to have won 9-0 on two occasions after previously thrashing Ipswich by the same scoreline back in 1995, whilst Southampton suffered the ignominy of becoming the first to be beaten 9-0 twice after their joint-record defeat against Leicester last season.
Solskjaer’s side move level on points with league leaders Manchester City who visit Burnley on Wednesday evening, and Rashford insists his side must continue to strive for further improvement despite the nature of their emphatic victory.
“It’s always good to score lots of goals and we’re happy, it’s three points we have needed,” he told BT Sport. “We dropped some points in the last few games and needed to get back to winning ways which we’ve done.
— The Football Faithful (@FootyFaithfuI) February 2, 2021
“We just needed to be as simple as possible, keep moving, be positive. It’s easy to take your foot off the gas but we didn’t want to do that we went out in the second half the same as the first. The first half set the tone for us but it’s about keeping a positive attitude and keep scoring goals.”
The dynamic of the game changed quickly following Southampton’s early red card and Rashford revealed his sympathies for teenager Jankewitz following his quick-fire dismissal, somewhat surprisingly admitting he felt the youngster was ‘unlucky’ following his late challenge on McTominay.
“I think that’s quite unlucky, he’s just a bit late there I think it was a red but unfortunate for the young player.”
Rashford’s goal also saw him move past the legendary Eric Cantona amongst United’s all-time leading scorers, with the 23-year-old revealing his pride at surpassing the Frenchman to move ninth amongst the club’s highest-scoring players of the Premier League era.
⚽️ Most goals for @ManUtd in all comps during Premier League era – Marcus Rashford now has more than Eric Cantona:
🏴 253 Rooney
🏴 160 Giggs
🏴 155 Scholes
🇳🇱 150 Van Nistelrooy
🇳🇴 126 Solskjaer
🏴 121 Cole
🇵🇹 118 Ronaldo
🏴 85 Beckham
🏴 83 RASHFORD 🆕
🇫🇷 82 Cantona pic.twitter.com/lwN9jpudZm
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February 2, 2021
“He was a top player who has done so much for this club so I’m pleased but for me, I just want to score more goals and help the team.”
The forward added that United are not concentrating on the sides around them in the division, insisting he and his teammates must focus on their own improvement as they bid to challenge for honours this season.
“We haven’t looked at Liverpool really, we are still improving and we need to focus on ourselves, we’re not a ready-made team but we have to just keep improving and working on our goals.”
Next up for the Red Devils is a home tie against Everton.