Ten Hag was also upset with Copenhagen’s first two goals, saying Andre Onana was blocked by an offside player for Mohamed Elyounoussi’s strike and disputing Harry Maguire’s handball for Diogo Goncalves’ penalty.
“When you freeze it, it always looks worse,” said Ten Hag. “As I say, it takes them so long and they make a red card of it. I’m very disappointed about such decisions, the game is never meant to be like this, this has nothing to do with football. He went for the ball and it is harsh.
“Decisions have to be made and I accept wrong decisions are made by some at this level. Three such tough decisions, you control the game and the game is never meant to be for that.
“The first is an offside goal, a player is in front of Andre, the second is like the ball on the hand, but it’s so close and the hand is in such a normal position. It’s like Christian Eriksen’s penalty [for handball] in Munich, what can you do with it?
“The game can’t be like this, it has to be a certain objective and it’s not the case. We didn’t do everything right but we did many things right, but we have no points and we are very disappointed about it.”
United had been two goals ahead through Rasmus Hojlund scoring twice against his former club. But Rashford’s red – on his return to the starting line-up after Ten Hag criticised his nightclub birthday celebrations – was the big moment of an eventful evening.
“We started the game so well, the best minutes of the season, we are winning the game and the red card changes everything,” said Ten Hag. “We conceded two goals before half-time which should never count. First is offside, second a penalty that makes it four in four games where three of them are debatable.”
Rashford’s red, how football reacted
Keith Hackett, former referee – ‘No attempt to play ball’
“It was a correct dismissal. The challenge by Rashford highlighted exactly how Var should operate. Replays highlighted that Rashford had made no attempt to play the ball and endangered the safety of his opponent with a stamping action on the vulnerable foot and ankle area. This action fulfilled the criteria of law for serious foul play. The Var was spot on when witnessing the event on his monitor and recommending a review by the referee.”
Paul Scholes – ‘Ref needs to understand the game’
“I think that is where the understanding of the referee has to come into it. It’s an accident. Marcus is trying to plant his foot and protect the ball; he’s not even looking at the kid. This is where the referee’s understanding of the game needs to come into question.
Owen Hargreaves – ‘He’s not trying to foul him’
“Marcus is trying to put his leg in the ball, he’s not even looking at the defender. Obviously 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 is not trying to foul him. I know it looks poor, but it’s not malicious, it’s not serious foul play, it’s just clumsy. They have got to start re-reffing the games like that because it’s ruining it.”
Robbie Savage – ‘100 per cent a red card’
“That for me is a red card. Initially I thought he just turned, but I think that is a red card. When you see it from that other angle – he has gone to protect the ball, and by doing that he has stamped on his shin and that is 100 per cent a red card.”
Jamie Carragher – ‘Still images make it look worse’
“No way is that a red card for Rashford! Hate these slow motion replays and still images that make everything look 10 times worse.”
Jermaine Jenas – ‘So worrying for the game’
Really poor decision that to give Marcus Rashford a red card. Players, managers, pundits all want to respect referees but to watch that incident back and still decide it’s a red card is just so worrying for the game. Can we please add understanding of the game to the rule book.
Steve Bruce – ‘Nobody saw it until the Var review’
“He’s just trying to do what every striker does and put his body in the way to protect the ball and unfortunately he’s trod on ankle and turned it over. He can count himself so unlucky. None of us saw it until [Var] intervened. I find it very, very unfortunate. I think he’s really unfortunate to be sent off for that.”