Marcus Rashford red card Man Utd
Marcus Rashford (2nd R) was sent-off in Manchester United's 4-3 defeat to FC Copenhagen Jonathan NACKSTRAND/AFP News

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford was slapped with a straight red card during his side's controversial 4-3 loss against Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

The loss was yet another blow to Manchester United's indecisive season, with the Red Devils falling to the bottom of Group A of the Champions League.

Marcus Rashford's red card – Watch

Manchester United started off the match at Parken on a high after summer signing Rasmus Hojlund scored twice against his hometown club, with the Danish striker knowing where to be at exactly the right time. Both his goals were close finishes. Hojlund opened the scoring inside three minutes and 12 minutes later, the young striker made it 2-0 after Alejandro Garnacho's left foot shot was deflected by Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara.

However, the game took a drastic turn in the 42nd minute when referee Donatas Rumsas was called to the pitchside monitor to review a late accidental tackle by Manchester United forward Rashford on the ankle of Copenhagen defender Elias Jelert.

As Rashford tried to shield the ball from the opponent, without looking at Jelert he misjudged how he positioned his foot and his studs landed just above the 20-year-old's ankle. After VAR encouraged the referee to have a look at a replay on the screen, Rashford was given marching orders, but the Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag called the decision "harsh".

"The red card was harsh. [Rashford] went for the ball, but the referee had such a long time to make it a red card. When you freeze it, it always looks worse. They took so long to make a red card of it," Ten Hag said at the post-match conference on Wednesday.

Ten Hag: Copenhagen's 2 goals should never have counted

Ten Hag also said he was "very disappointed with the decisions" made against Manchester United as at least three "tough" calls of the referees went against his side.

"The red card changed everything. We then conceded two goals before half-time that should never have counted -- the first was offside, their player was stood in front of André Onana, and the penalty [for the second] was very debatable," added Ten Hag.

Manchester United have lost three out of their four group games and they must now defeat Galatasaray in Istanbul later this month and Bayern Munich at Old Trafford in their final game to have any chance of reaching the Round of 16.

During the conference, when Ten Hag was asked if he still believed in the squad, the Dutch boss said that his side was "resilient" and they have been just unfortunate to have so many decisions against them so far this season and they have also suffered a number of injury setbacks.

"And every time there is a spirit and there is a fight and we will keep going because I'm sure, as I said, it will turn. Built on one moment in the season, it will turn in our favour," added Ten Hag.

Ten Hag revealed ahead of the Copenhagen game that two key players, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro – currently sidelined due to injuries – would not return to action until Christmas.

Both players have suffered from injury issues in the 2023-24 season, being out of action for the majority of the time. Martinez, who is dealing with a foot injury, has not featured since September's defeat to Brighton, while Casemiro sustained a hamstring injury in Manchester United's 3-0 thrashing at home against Newcastle United last week.

Manchester United has now lost nine of their 17 matches in all competitions this season. The 4-3 result against Copenhagen was also the first occasion Manchester United lost a European game after leading initially by multiple goals, having won 78 times and drawn twice in previous instances.

The Old Trafford side has one more fixture before this month's international break gets underway. They are set to host Luton Town in the Premier League on Saturday. Manchester United have six wins from 11 games and are placed eighth in the league table.