But when United had the chance to put the game to bed during the second half, Rashford appeared to give up during a golden opportunity on the break.
Marcus Rashford was the target of Manchester United fan fury during Monday’s FA Cup clash
Rashford cuts a dejected figure after being subbed off during Monday’s FA Cup game
Manchester United fans react furiously to Rashford’s performance against Villa on Monday
As Greenwood was sent through on goal, Rashford ran up in support of his team-mate with Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez the final man to beat.
Greenwood ignored Rashford and instead decided to shoot, with his shot being spilled by the Argentine. However, fans were left seething when Rashford appeared to refuse to follow up the opportunity, allowing Martinez to calmly collect the ball.
Furious United fans took to Twitter to voice their disapproval of their academy graduate, with one supporter saying that Rashford’s perceived lack of desire was ‘f**king him off’.
They wrote: ‘Rashford is f**king me off. Don’t give a f**k if he’s from Manchester and came through the academy he looks like he doesn’t wanna be there.’
Greenwood (top) shoots at goal with keeper Emi Martinez (left) parrying it back into the box
Rashford (middle of the box) appeared to give up on the chance during the second half
While replays showed Rashford might not have got to it, fans were furious he didn’t try
How on earth is Marcus Rashford still on this pitch. Every single person watching the match can see he’s struggling beyond belief. Rangnick must be seeing something different.. #MUFC#MUNAVL#Rashford
See how hungry Elanga and Lingard were when they came on? Players like that should be starting. How Rashford lasted so long again is baffling. Hopefully beat these again on Saturday, but we’ll need to play better than that 💩 #Rashford#MUNAVL
Others agreed, left bemused at his performance on Monday evening.
‘How on earth is Marcus Rashford still on this pitch. Every single person watching the match can see he’s struggling beyond belief. Rangnick must be seeing something different,’ another fan tweeted.
One United supporter called for others to start ahead of Rashford in future, saying it was ‘baffling’ how he lasted so long.
‘See how hungry Elanga and Lingard were when they came on? Players like that should be starting. How Rashford lasted so long again is baffling. Hopefully beat these again on Saturday, but we’ll need to play better than that,’ they tweeted.
Terrible again.. rashford wow what as happened to the lad, have we even improved since ole 👀🤷♂️
One fan even claimed Villa, who had two goals chalked off in the tie, deserved to win the game, branding Greenwood and Rashford as ‘selfish’.
‘Greenwood and Rashford are selfish,’ they wrote. ‘Lost passes are killing the team. No team work at all. Villa deserved to win this match. They were the better team.’
While Rashford was the target for most of the criticism, other supporters offered a different perspective and claimed the 24-year-old needed support now more than ever.
‘Someone needs to put an arm around Marcus Rashford in that changing room,’ one fan tweeted. ‘This is clearly the most difficult spell of his career… the EUROs, the surgery, the lack of form. He needs support now, but who provides it?’
Former Manchester United striker Dion Dublin, who was commentating on the game at the Threatre of Dreams, claimed the United forward looked ‘disinterested’ throughout the game.
Someone needs to put an arm around Marcus Rashford in that changing room.
This is clearly the most difficult spell of his career… the EUROs, the surgery, the lack of form.
‘If Rashford is on his front foot there, he’s got a tap-in,’ Dublin said. ‘It looked like he didn’t want to get himself a simple goal. If he continues his run at pace, he’s got a side-foot. He looks disheartened, I haven’t seen him smile in a long time.’
Alan Shearer agreed Dublin, accusing Rashford of playing his football this season like it is a ‘chore’.
Speaking at half-time, BBC Sport pundit Shearer says he saw glimpses of improvement from the winger, but believes he is not ‘enjoying’ playing.
‘It’s a little bit better, I think, in that first half,’ Shearer said. ‘I get that he’s had injuries, I get that he’s struggling with a little bit of confidence, amazing work off the pitch.
‘But certainly a lot of the times this season, it looks as if everything is a chore. It looks like hard work for him. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying his football as much.
Rashford was accused of playing his football like it is a ‘chore’ by BBC pundit Alan Shearer
Shearer believes Rashford has shown signs of improvement despite his lack of impact this year
‘I get that. It’s a learning curve, you learn how to get over that.
‘There has been one or two more encouraging signs in that first half.
‘Certainly, he posed lots of questions early on when he was down that left-hand side. I said about the lack of width before the game.
‘That hasn’t been the case, he’s done well down that side. And then he’s switched to the right-hand side. So, a little bit better from him tonight.’
At the weekend, Rashford was forced to publicly rubbish reports claiming he is unhappy at United, and insisted his loyalty must ‘never be in question’.
Speaking live on the BBC, Shearer believes Rashford is now struggling to enjoy his football
After the limp 1-0 defeat by Wolves, it was claimed that a host of players are keen to quit the club – although academy graduate Rashford said he is not one of them.
On social media, he posted: ‘We’ve all been disappointed with recent performances and we’ve been as disappointed with the news coverage questioning our commitment to not only the manager and the coaching staff but the club.
‘I have endless respect for both and I’m looking forward to bettering my game under the staff at Manchester United.’
At the weekend, Rashford was forced to insist that he remains fully committed at Old Trafford
In a statement, Rashford said his loyalty to his boyhood club ‘should never be in question’
His statement then continued defiantly, with Rashford claiming he plans to do his talking on the pitch and playing down suggestions he is ‘sulking’.
‘I’m not sulking, I’m not unhappy, am I disappointed in some of my recent performances? Of course I am. I’m my own biggest critic,’ he added.
‘It’s been a tough start but I’m determined to prove my worth. My dedication and my desire to be here should never be in question. I love this club.’