Rio Ferdinand claims Manchester United have set 'the benchmark'

Rio Ferdinand claims Manchester United have set ‘the benchmark’ for future performances after impressive Liverpool win, hoping ‘something is different’ as Erik ten Hag picks up first win as manager

  • Rio Ferdinand has praised Manchester United for their win over Liverpool
  • United beat rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford yesterday in an impressive showing
  • Ferdinand claimed United have now set the benchmark for future performances
  • The former defender also said the team need to ensure it is not a one-off
  • He also credited Erik ten Hag for dropping Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo 
  • Ferdinand went on to praise both Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has called for his old side to hit the level of performance they showed against Liverpool consistently after the Red Devils’ 2-1 win yesterday evening.

United picked up their first win of the Premier League campaign thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford and, despite Mo Salah’s late consolation, secured their first points of the Erik ten Hag era at Old Trafford.

Ferdinand, speaking on his Rio Ferdinand presents FIVE YouTube channel, claimed United have set the benchmark for future performances, while insisting the side need to ensure the win is not a one off like it has been in the past.   

Rio Ferdinand praised Manchester United after their impressive 2-1 win over Liverpool

The result saw United pick up their first points of the season and leapfrog Liverpool in the table

‘Before the game I said I was scared of today, of what could happen’, said Ferdinand.

‘But Man United have gone out and shown us today that this is the benchmark for them now. They have shown us there is a performance there, they have shown us there is desire, there is work ethic, they can run, they can have the energy, pace, can hit teams on the break, be aggressive and compete. All these things were in the performance today which was lacking last week and loads of times previously. 

‘We’ve seen it now and you’d like to think this will be a sign of things to come. Over the last couple of years we have seen the odd performance but hopefully something is different.’

United showed good attacking play, playing in cohesion and with pace as they threatened Liverpool’s back line in what was a difficult evening for the visitors.

ten Hag dropped captain Harry Maguire and forward Cristiano Ronaldo for the match, and Ferdinand argued it was a decision that clearly paid off. 

Cristiano Ronaldo (left) was left on the bench by United manager Erik ten Hag for the game

Harry Maguire (left) was also dropped and was an unused substitute, whilst Ronaldo got on 

ten Hag picked up his first three points as United manager after three games in charge

‘The big story before the game was Ronaldo and Harry Magurie not playing’, said Ferdinand, who made 453 appearances for United. 

‘As a manager, before the game, Erik ten Hag would have been sitting there thinking: “Please, the players I bring in but more importantly the team, please justify with a performance why I didn’t pick those players”, and I think he got that today.

‘I think after the first 45 minutes regardless of the score, he goes and carries on with this team again because I think he would have seen enough in the first 45 to go: “You know what, that’s a bit of me”‘.

Marcus Rashford scored his first Premier League goal since February to put United 2-0 up

Marcus Rashford scored the second goal of the game to put United 2-0 up – his first Premier League goal since January – with a neat finish past Allison after a neat through ball from Anthony Martial.

Rashford has struggled for form and recently lost his place in the England squad, but Ferdinand was full of praise for the forward, as well as several of his team-mates.

‘Rashford looked like something we were used to seeing from years ago’, Ferdinand said. ‘With the energy, the ability to run behind, the desire, chasing things down.

Lisandro Martinez, who joined the club from Ajax this summer, put in a strong performance

Former United man Ferdinand insisted United need to ensure the performance is not a one-off

‘The way that they [United] pressed was a pleasing factor but also the way they kept their shape. The two centre-halves were outstanding, I thought [Raphael] Varane in the first-half covering was brilliant, and all through the game.

‘[Lisandro] Martinez was out to people, getting up against people, being a nuisance… there’s a little bit of Gabriel Heinze in him, probably not as rash maybe, but I really like the look of him.

‘I still think he will get isolated and targeted, but if he can perform to the standard today, what a big signing he could be.’

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