Manchester City vs Manchester United: Why were Marcus Rashford and Jonny Evans taken off?

Manchester City produced a great comeback in the second half with a Phil Foden double and a late Erling Haaland goal.

Marcus Rashford in a file photo; Credit: Twitter@MarcusRashford
By Karthik Raman | Mar 4, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester City won the local derby over city rivals Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday night. Pep Guardiola’s side came from behind to get a 3-1 win in an action-packed encounter. Even though City had the majority of possession, United looked dangerous on a few occasions, especially in the first half, in counter attacks. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with a spectacular strike from outside the box at the start of the game.

However, Manchester City produced a great comeback in the second half with a Phil Foden double and a late Erling Haaland goal. After the Premier League match, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag provided a squad update explaining why he had to take off Marcus Rashford and Jonny Evans in the second half. The Dutchman explained that both players were not at their full fitness heading into the contest.

Why were Marcus Rashford and Jonny Evans taken off?

“We had two players on the pitch, they were not 100 per cent [in] Jonny Evans and Marcus Rashford and they gave everything, as the whole team gave everything. I don’t know, I can’t tell you [if they’re a doubt for Everton on Saturday]. Finally they had to come off, but I [would have] preferred to keep them on as I think the organisation was very good. Jonny played brilliantly with Rapha [Varane] in the centre, and Rashford defended well. Also in the break, we know his quality and he could have scored another goal,” ten Hag told MUTV, Sky Sports, the BBC and other broadcasters after the match.

Despite losing the game, ten Hag felt that his side could have gotten something out of the game, as he expressed his satisfaction with the performance. “I think [it was a] good performance from our side. We went 1-0 up and [played] according to the plan. We had our moments after it as well, to go for a second one. I think we defended very well. But then [there were] two I will say defining moments where we almost make a breakthrough and we conceded the first goal and also the second goal after also a defining moment, when Garnacho is through on the break. So yeah, then you are disappointed. We have to accept it, but it is what it is. But still, I think we had the opportunity to at least get one point, but also a win was possible,” he explained.

The manager added: “It’s about getting behind the defending line and with the speed from Garnacho and Rashford. And I think that went very well – we were already up after a couple of minutes. Good breakthrough from Garnacho, Rashford was in the perfect scoring position and then, quickly after the goal from Rashford, we had our moments and more throughout all the game. I think also [in] defending, we closed the middle very good, we defended the box very good. So the performance from our side was very good.”

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