United’s shaky start to the Premier League season continued as they were comprehensively outplayed by Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton at Old Trafford. Goals from Danny Welbeck, Pascal Gross, and Joao Pedro put Brighton in control, and United could only salvage a late consolation through youngster Hannibal Mejbri, marking their first home defeat in 20 games.
Rashford, the team’s talisman, bore the brunt of criticism. He faced backlash for what appeared to be a lack of effort when Brighton was in possession, but his footballing intelligence was also brought into question. In the early stages of the second half, Rashford had the ball on the left flank and took on his defender. However, he opted to shoot with his left foot, hitting the side-netting, without noticing Rasmus Hojlund’s well-timed run to the far post, even as Hojlund gestured for the cross.
Hojlund frequently executes this precise movement, and a fan shared footage of him scoring from a nearly identical situation during his time at Atalanta. This incident sparked a discussion among supporters, with one remarking, “The fact that Hojlund is pointing to where he will be and where he wants the ball as soon as Rashford receives it makes me even more annoyed.”
Another supporter suggested Rashford could learn from watching Manchester City, where teamwork is emphasized: “Just for growth, Rashford can watch Man City, how everyone works for Haaland.”
Many fans expressed frustration at the frequency of such poor decisions at a club of United’s caliber, speculating whether manager Erik ten Hag was addressing these issues in training. One fan strongly criticized Rashford, stating, “City players would not do this; that pass would have been made and put in the net. That’s why they are champions. Rashford is all about himself, wanting to be the star man. Needs to be dropped by Ten Hag.”
Another fan questioned Rashford’s awareness, commenting, “Do you even think Rashford was looking at him? Lol. He thinks every other run in the box is a decoy for him to shoot.”
Summing it up, a user simply labeled Rashford as “What a selfish player we have.”
Notably, Rashford did set up Hojlund with a chance in the first half, but the goal was disallowed after the ball had gone out of play. United, facing their worst start since 1989 with three losses in their first five games, now shift their focus to the Champions League clash against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.