Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards has said that he feels Marcus Rashford would fare much better playing in front of his former side’s midfield than Manchester United’s.
Rashford has been in fine form this season, scoring 17 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions, including four in three Carabao Cup outings.
The England international scored the fourth of those goals in the second half of Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to City in the first leg of the semi-final, after Pep Guardiola’s side outclassed their derby rivals with their first-half showing.
United struggled to cope for the first 45 minutes but the introduction of Nemanja Matic provided more stability, with Rashford’s goal one of only few positives from the performance.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, however, Richards admitted that Rashford’s opportunities in his side’s midfield will be limited compared to the chances he would get at City.
“At City he’s scoring 30-40 goals,” the pundit said. “With [Anthony] Martial and [Daniel] James, United look good on the counter.
“But sometimes the counter isn’t on. You need to be able to pick holes in teams and United can’t do that.
“You look at City’s midfield compared to United’s and that’s no disrespect to them. [Kevin] De Bruyne’s first thought is ‘let’s play a forward pass.”
Former United midfielder Darren Fletcher also spoke about how United struggled to keep tabs on City in the first half.
“Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] spoke before the game about their youthful energy the team had, but they were a bit naive and lightweight,” he said.
“The centre-halves were marking nobody so the midfield was overloaded. You would like somebody to take initiative, can somebody go in and engage.
“Sometimes you have to take responsibility. I’m sure Solskjaer would give his players responsibility.
“He has two experienced centre halves who have to realise they are marking nobody. They can see the young midfielders getting outnumbered all over the place.”
Elsewhere, Red Devils boss Solskjaer insisted that his side’s showing against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last season – when they went through after a magnificent comeback – means they are not out of the tie.
He said: “PSG is the latest example and we have to believe that we can put on a performance.
“Even though it’s a steep mountain to climb, we can still climb it.”