Rashford and Fernandes need United teammates to step up

Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes have been Manchester United’s best and most consistent players this season.

So it was disappointing to see the pair turn in disappointing displays in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Liverpool. The over reaction to their performances has been a bit too much, however.

Rashford was sloppy at times, often failing to make the right decisions, whether it be timing his runs right or failing to releasing the ball when others were better positioned.

Fernandes could easily have scored twice. His free-kick whizzed narrowly wide in the first half, and then he had a second half effort saved by Alisson. But he struggled to get time on the ball and was able to create just one chance in 90 minutes.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

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Both players have been outstanding

It’s fine to point out their shortcomings with a bit of balance. But what Fernandes and Rashford really need is a little more help.

Between them they have scored 29 goals this season already. Fernandes has 15 and Rashford has 14.

Lately the goals have not flowed as easily. Between them they have just two goal in their last 12 appearances, one each.

A dip like this is to be expected. They now need their teammates to step up and show the same kind of consistency they have done.

Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood can all contribute more than they have done. The three have netted only 12 goals combined, less than Rashford and Fernandes each have individually.

Need a little help

Consistent performances from just one of Cavani, Martial and Greenwood can help take the pressure off Marcus Rashford.

Solskjaer may also want to consider giving Donny van de Beek a game or two to take some pressure off Bruno Fernandes.

The United boss would be more receptive to leaving Rashford or Fernandes out of the team if he had more faith in their replacements to produce.

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At present he feels he can’t do without them. When United hosted Watford in the FA Cup and took an early lead, the players produced a largely insipid, dull performance with neither of Greenwood or Dan James particularly impressive. Van de Beek was the best of the bunch but he was played in a deeper role, preventing it from being a real audition for Fernandes’ spot.

This week United may rotate a little more, with two games in a five day span against Fulham and then Liverpool in the cup.

It is likely Fernandes and Rashford will each get a rest in at least one of them as starters. They could really do with their teammates stepping up.

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