Marcus Rashford names his regret about Manchester United’s Europa League final appearance
Marcus Rashford has admitted Manchester United have some regrets about their ill-fated Champions League campaign earlier this season.
United relinquished a good position in their Champions League group, after beating Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, to finish third and drop into the Europa League knockout phase.
And although they have since gone on to reach the Europa League final — in which they will face Villarreal tonight — Rashford admitted United performed disappointingly in the Champions League.
He told UEFA how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refocussed the United squad to then perform in the Europa League, inspiring them to two-legged wins over Real Sociedad, AC Milan, Granada and Roma to reach the final.
“We should have gone through top of the group and we let ourselves down,” Rashford said on the Champions League.
“So, whatever happened in the Champions League happened, and then you’re in the Europa League and it just takes you, maybe, a couple of days to refocus. We had a few team meetings where we’ve obviously got down and said to each other: ‘This is what we’re focused on now.’”
Rashford named the stunning 6-2 victory over Roma in the semi-final first leg as United’s best performance in Europe this season.
He added: “We scored a goal, and then we went 2-1 down, and it’s very, very easy to panic in those games. And we didn’t. We came in at half-time and we were calm.
“We went on to score four or five goals, and it could have been more because we were just so focused. For me that was a sign, because in the past, we could have lost that game 2-1. Maybe two years ago, we would have been going to Rome away behind.”
Rashford then explained his pre-match routine and why that won’t change even for a final like tonight’s game in Gdansk.
“I prepare the same for every game. I’m quite relaxed,” he said. “I’ll probably be reading or maybe I’ll watch something. Just normal things that you do when you’re at home.
“Because you’re always travelling, you’re not really in your house much, you just find a way to make wherever you go home. Once I found out what was right for me in order to be in the right headspace for games, I’ve never changed it. I don’t think I’ll change it for the rest of my career.”