In a UEFA Champions League showdown between F.C. Copenhagen and Manchester United at Parken Stadium, Marcus Rashford of the Red Devils found himself on the receiving end of a controversial red card. However, according to former United players Owen Hargreaves and Paul Scholes, the decision was unjust and demonstrated a lack of understanding from the referee.
Rashford was sent off late in the first half for a foul on Elias Jelert. Yet, Hargreaves and Scholes argued that there was no malicious intent behind Rashford’s actions and that the accidental nature of the incident should have resulted in a different outcome.
The Lithuanian referee, Donatas Rumsas, was called to review the footage on the pitchside monitor by VAR before making the call. This moment proved to be detrimental for Erik ten Hag’s side, who were leading 2-0 at the time thanks to a Rasmus Hojlund double but quickly conceded two goals to go into halftime level.
Hargreaves expressed his disbelief at the red card, stating, “Not in a million years. Marcus is just trying to put his foot in front of the ball, he’s not even looking at the defender. He’s just trying to put his leg up so the defender bumps into him. When you see a still, and this is the first thing the referee sees when he walks over, it looks horrendous. But in real time, he’s not trying to foul him. I know it looks poor, but it’s not malicious, it’s not serious foul play. It’s just a foul, it’s just clumsy. It’s not a red. They’ve got to stop re-reffing these games like that because it’s ruining it.”
Scholes echoed Hargreaves’ sentiments, emphasizing the need for the referee’s understanding of the game. He stated, “I think that’s where the understanding of the referee has to come into it. It’s an accident. Marcus Rashford is trying to plant his foot, protect the ball, he’s not even looked at the kid. Accidentally, he’s caught his leg. This is where the referee’s understanding of the game needs to come into question.”
Manchester United traveled to Denmark with the urgent need for a victory, as they had only managed to secure four points from their first three Group A matches, putting their chances of progressing at risk.