Belfast Telegraph

England hopefuls Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard struggle against Stoke

Manchester United forwards Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard produced underwhelming performances against Stoke on the day they were hoping to be named in England's senior squad.

Here Press Association Sport looks at how the United pair fared on the flanks in the 1-1 draw with the Potters at Old Trafford.


Lingard was one of three United players to be thwarted by excellent Lee Grant saves in the first half, and the goalkeeper's stop to deny the winger may have been better than the saves he produced against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata. Lingard had drifted inside off the right flank to meet Ibrahimovic's near-post cross, only to flick a chance down to Grant's right and see it kept out. Rashford, who had scored in three of the previous four games, did not get a sniff in front of goal.


Rashford, in particular, struggled to consistently find United team-mates from wide positions, though it was his inviting delivery which Paul Pogba nodded against the crossbar late on with the hosts searching for a winner. Lingard is not considered a traditional winger either and his only cross of note saw Ibrahimovic strike against Ryan Shawcross.


Rashford was part of England's Euro 2016 squad and will have seen Harry Kane ridiculed for taking corners for Roy Hodgson's side. If interim Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate is looking for someone to deliver at set-pieces in the upcoming contests against Malta and Slovenia, he would be advised to ignore the United youngster based on this evidence as Rashford frequently failed to beat the first man.


A couple of Lingard lay-offs aside, neither United player excelled in the build-up to attacks, even if United got forward often in the first period. Rashford misplaced a couple of passes in key positions, though he did slip through a clever flick to Pogba shortly after United had gone ahead.


If this was an audition to convince Southgate they are worthy of starting against Malta at Wembley on Saturday, neither Rashford nor Lingard particularly staked a claim. Rashford still appears less at home playing in a wider role than up front, and Lingard too often drifts in and out of contests. It was telling that moments after Lingard had been substituted, his replacement Anthony Martial broke the deadlock.

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