sport news CHRIS WHEELER: With only one goal this season and a red card, what's eating ... trends now

sport news CHRIS WHEELER: With only one goal this season and a red card, what's eating ... trends now
sport news CHRIS WHEELER: With only one goal this season and a red card, what's eating ... trends now

sport news CHRIS WHEELER: With only one goal this season and a red card, what's eating ... trends now

The referee held up his red card and Marcus Rashford broke into a broad grin. It wasn't a happy smile, though. It was a smile of incredulity at Lithuanian official Donatas Rumsas and his decision to send off Manchester United's No 10 for only the second time in his career.

We were nearing the end of the regulation 45 minutes and a whole heap of added time at the end of the first half in Parken Stadium, and Rashford was on his way.

United were two goals up on Copenhagen but when Rumsas blew his whistle for half-time it was 2-2. By full-time, United's 10 men were staring at a 4-3 defeat and, quite possibly, Champions League elimination as well. The red card had changed the course of the game.

For Rashford, it completed a difficult week in what has been a worryingly poor season by the England forward's standards.

Should he have been sent off for his challenge on Copenhagen's Elias Jelert? Rumsas had missed Rashford raking his studs down Jelert's shin and ankle but VAR hadn't. Once the referee went to the monitor, there was only going to be one outcome.

Marcus Rashford has endured a worryingly poor start to the season, only scoring once

Marcus Rashford has endured a worryingly poor start to the season, only scoring once

Erik ten Hag (left) publicly criticised Rashford for publicly celebrating his 26th birthday

Erik ten Hag (left) publicly criticised Rashford for publicly celebrating his 26th birthday

Like most of the calls on Wednesday night, it was a tight one. Technically correct perhaps, and always worse in slow motion, but definitely on the soft side.

None of which made an iota of difference to the United player. He was sent on his way and a bad night had just got worse for the Rashford camp.

Shortly before kick-off, it emerged that Rashford's brother Dane had been arrested in Florida on suspicion of battery.

Dane is a director of the management company that handles Rashford's affairs along with his brother Dwaine Maynard. They act as Marcus' agents, although that is in some jeopardy after they failed the FA's new exam in the summer. Last week, Rashford was publicly criticised by manager Erik ten Hag for celebrating his 26th birthday at Manchester nightspot Chinawhite hours after United's humiliating defeat in the Manchester derby, branding the get-together 'unacceptable'.

Suspicions were raised when Rashford then missed Saturday's Premier League win at Fulham with a leg injury, according to Ten Hag, but the player was back in the line-up in Copenhagen.

The decision to party at such a high-profile venue was simply a case of poor timing on Rashford's part, and probably no worse than the publicity experts at Nike who chose last week to launch his new clothing range with the US sportswear giant.

'He sees the pieces in the collection

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