The England man took his post-World Cup tally to 10 in as many games with a sensational opener.
Rashford picked up possession in his own half before sprinting into the Forest box and beating Hennessey with a fierce left-footed effort that drew comparisons with Ryan Giggs’ memorable effort in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final replay.
Ten Hag agrees that there are few more in-form players in the country at the moment.
“I am happy with Marcus’s performance and his development,” said Ten Hag.
“From the start of the season he is growing. What we have to aim for with him, and he is responsible for that, is to keep this process going.
“If he is in this mood, with this spirit he is unstoppable.”
Cooper keen to learn from defeat
Forest boss Steve Cooper was particularly unhappy with Fernandes’ third in the final minute.
While he accepted a two-goal deficit would have been tough to overturn at Old Trafford in the second-leg next week, coming back from three down is virtually impossible.
Nevertheless, he still feels there are positives to take from a “disappointing and frustrating” night.
“The road to success is about dealing with disappointments,” he said.
“Disappointments are not something you encourage or want but they can be good for you and we have to approach it in that way.
“We don’t want to be soft or fluffy about it but don’t want to be narrow-minded either and think we can’t learn from it.
“We are building something here. We are not at the end. I am still pleased the supporters got the chance to walk into the ground and think their team is in a semi-final.”
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