Rio Ferdinand makes Odion Ighalo Man Utd claim about Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial would not have scored Odion Ighalo’s first goal against Derby County, claims Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand. Ighalo scored the second goal of the night for United in the fifth-round win at Pride Park on Thursday. Left-back Luke Shaw made a good run inside and found Ighalo, who took a couple of touches before turning and finding the bottom corner with a left-footed strike.
It was not a spectacular goal from the January deadline-day signing but Ferdinand praised the Nigerian’s movement.
The pundit says United would have played the move differently if either Rashford or Martial were playing up front instead.
“This phase of play here, when the ball gets played into Ighalo into the box, if Rashford and Martial are playing I don’t necessarily think that ball gets played into them there because I don’t think they post themselves up like this and make themselves available,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.
“And when the ball gets into him, to be there first and do that under that pressure he’s under I think is fantastic.
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“Shaw, who’s been fantastic first half, finding him.
“But just centre of goal, occupying defenders, two of the centre-backs are thinking ‘we can’t move, he’s here, he’s around us, he’s a physical presence’.
“I think that’s what he adds to this team, which is good.”
United led 2-0 at half time, with Shaw opening the scoring though Jesse Lingard may end up claiming the goal after it appeared to hit his fellow Englishman on the shoulder.
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And Ferdinand was full of praise for his former side and said it is the most confident he has seen them in a while.
“[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] won’t mind [it’s been scrappy],” Ferdinand said.
“I think the first 10 minutes was just a finding each other out period.
“This was a potential banana skin, FA Cup football, coming here under the lights, the atmosphere was very, very good before the game started but Manchester United have managed this game very, very well.
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“This is the most confident I have seen Man United for many, many months really.
“They came here, looked very, very assured of themselves, yes they’ve tinkered with the team but it’s business as usual.”
United have hit a purple patch of form under Solskjaer and Ferdinand was full of praise for the Red Devils before the match.
“Listen, it’s improved,” Ferdinand said.
“I was speaking to Mike Phelan, one of the coaching staff at Manchester United earlier, things are starting to click, they’re starting to understand things and they’ve understood as a group that it wasn’t going to be overnight where things are going to start working out.
“It’s going to take time, implement things into the team, into individuals but they’ve got a run of games that are going to be testing but I think this team are turning the corner but it’s a slow process.”
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