Michael Owen points finger at Marcus Rashford ‘lying on floor’ after Phil Foden goal

Michael Owen points finger at Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford’s challenge for the ball with Kyle Walker has come under scrutiny with Manchester City scoring just moments after the Manchester United forward went to ground

Michael Owen believes Marcus Rashford is at fault for Phil Foden’s equaliser in the Manchester derby. The Manchester United forward, who opened the scoring with a sumptuous strike, soon found himself partly guilty for Manchester City’s equaliser.

Contesting for a long ball with Kyle Walker, the England striker went down easily and claimed he should have had a foul. As the play continued, Foden let rip at the other end to level the score.

Naturally, Rashford was furious with the decision and Erik ten Hag found himself booked for his overexuberant reaction. But, in truth, there was little case for the pair – and Owen believes it even cost them dearly.

Michael Owen points finger at Marcus Rashford ‘lying on floor’ after Phil Foden goal

“I thought it was correct nothing was given,” he said on Optus Sport. “I don’t know why Marcus Rashford was trying to run across his man to start with, he wasn’t even in control of the ball. Surely you’ve got to control the ball first and the cut across your man.

“I felt it was called spot on. And, actually, he would have been back in this position (defending for the Foden goal) to potentially cut that ball out. He’s been lying on the ground for a minute or so. If he was back in, his position should be there, if he wasn’t lying on the floor prior to that. So he might have been able to prevent that goal.”

Paul Scholes believes Walker’s pace played a psychological role in the incident, with Rashford simply not fancying a one-on-one with his England teammate. “I thought he was just worried about Kyle Walker,” said Scholes. “He forgot about the ball and thinks ‘I got to get in front of Kyle Walker’. It happened two or three times. He’s conscious of Kyle Walker. And Kyle Walker, at the minute, has that influence on people because he’s so quick.”

Speaking after the game, Ten Hag believed there was enough contact for a foul to be given. He told Sky Sports: “It is very debatable, I think there was contact and it is a defining moment of the game. Also at 2-1 there’s a reckless action from City’s goalkeeper. It was soft, but when you’re in a full sprint and you get a little touch you lose the rhythm and that’s why he went down.”

Walker was also asked for this thoughts on the incident but, unsurprisingly, played down the challenge. He said: “I haven’t looked back at it to be completely honest. I didn’t feel there was much in it. I feel like I did what I normally do and get my arm across, but the referee has seen it and checked it on the VAR and they just have to take it as that and we have gone up the other end, it’s sods law isn’t it.”