Things have been looking up at Old Trafford this season and the sense of progress was underscored when February ended with the first trophy of the Erik ten Hag era.
But just a week after winning the Carabao Cup, rivals Liverpool suffered a crushing capitulation to inflict a stunned Red Devils 7-0 defeat after leading by just a goal at half-time.
It was United’s heaviest defeat ever and led some to believe the team had given up during a chaotic second half.
“We haven’t given up – that’s nonsense,” Rashford said. “We were disorganized, yes. Communication was bad, yes, that’s why we conceded the goals.
“But it comes down to that I think everyone’s been trying so hard to get back into the game that we’ve strayed too far from principles in and out of possession.
“I felt like the forwards were trying to press just as a forward unit – we weren’t connected to midfield. Then the same with midfield and defence.
“We tried to control the game when it was 2-0 and 3-0. We talked, but I don’t think we really agreed on what to do.
“Listen, it happened and the only thing we can do is learn from it and move on.
“So I’m happy and grateful that we have another game quickly because we have the opportunity to take a step forward from the last game and put it behind us.”
United return to Old Trafford on Thursday night, where Real Betis are the visitors in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16.
Rashford said on social media that United could not let the 7-0 defeat “define our season”, echoing Ten Hag’s comments about pressing reset and producing a reaction at Wednesday’s pre-game press conference.
“Liverpool vs United is a unique game,” said the home star. “Form doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter the form of individuals.
“It’s a special football game that is decided in the 95 minutes you’re on the pitch.
“It could have been a different game at half-time. I mean I missed a chance from Luke Shaw’s pass at 0-0. That could have been 1-0.
“We had two or three other options. We probably should have taken the lead at half-time but we were down 1-0 and weren’t in a bad position.
“We felt we could still go there in the second half and create chances.
“But it’s Liverpool – they can take the game away from you and that’s exactly what happened.
“Like the boss said, it’s all about resetting now. That’s all we can do. There’s no use thinking about what happened because we can’t change it.
“So, yeah, we’re just going to hit the reset button, go back to basics and give 100 percent again to try and win Thursday’s game.”
Rashford said the loss to Liverpool by any result “cuts deep” and how his manager blasted his support of Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese captained the team on Sunday and was heavily criticized for both his attitude and his performance in the Anfield annihilation.
“I love playing with Bruno, as you can imagine,” Rashford said. “I think for a striker like me he’s the perfect player to play with.
“He was a good leader for us even if he wasn’t captain, which is always a good sign.
“He’s helped other players become better leaders and the reality is we can’t be a well-organized team with just one leader as captain.
“He has done a lot for us to bring his leadership qualities to bear and has done so since his arrival (in January 2020).
“I can’t say anything negative about Bruno. As the manager said, nobody is perfect.
“Sometimes you want to win so badly that you end up doing things that are a bit out of character, but listen, I support Bruno 100 percent and I stand behind him.
“I think we have to support him as a team because he’s a fantastic player and as the manager said we wouldn’t be in the position we are in if he wasn’t playing for us.”
https://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/23371944.rashford-rubbishes-nonsense-claim-man-united-gave-anfield/?ref=rss Rashford dismisses ‘nonsense’ claim Man United gave up at Anfield