Marcus Rashford defiant after Manchester United Europa League Final defeat: ‘Second means nothing’

·2-min read
 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Marcus Rashford has vowed that Manchester United are not going “downhill” but has warned the club that “second means nothing” after their Europa League Final heartbreak against Villarreal.

With the scores level after extra time in Gdansk, United lost a sensational penalty shootout 11-10 with Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli the hero as he scored before saving David De Gea’s spot-kick.

Rulli’s penalty earned Unai Emery his fourth Europa League trophy - a record for a manager - and left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still waiting for his first trophy as United boss.

Rashford - who scored his spot-kick but otherwise disappointed in Poland, with a huge miss in the second half - cut a disconsolate figure after the shootout, but vowed that United will be back stronger.

The England forward told BT Sport: “The feeling inside is difficult to explain because we came here to win.

“We have been working so hard all season and this was the opportunity to win a trophy and it didn’t happen for whatever reason.

“We have to get rid of the disappointment and after that we need to look back at the game and see what we’ve done wrong and where we can improve.

“All I can say is the team will not give up, there is no chance this team gives up.

“The manager will not give up, he will not allow us to give up. We will come next season with a bigger desire.

“People say a lot about Manchester United, they are going downhill, blah blah blah.

“But, for me, the desire, the hunger, the talent, the ability of the squad - we have everything to compete at the highest level. We just have to show it to the world and show it to ourselves.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Rashford added of United’s season: “In the league we finished second. Second doesn’t count for nothing. Manchester City win the league, we finish second, it doesn’t mean nothing.

“Villarreal win the Europa League, we finish second, for us it means nothing.

“I don’t want to hear, ‘They were so close’. It doesn’t mean anything.

“There is one winner and one loser and today we lost. We have to find out why and make sure next time we don’t lose.”

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