Ratings: Fernandes and a Ronaldo brace see Arsenal defeated with Carrick undefeated as he leaves the club


Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Thursday evening. The Red Devils fell foul to a strange goal after David De Gea was down on the floor after being stood on by Fred and Emile Smith Rowe scoring a stunning goal from range. Bruno Fernandes, assisted by Fred, levelled the match in the 44th minute. Seven minutes into the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 800th career goal to put United ahead before Martin Odegaard equalised. Ronaldo’s penalty saw United ahead again to take all three points from the match. Crystal Palace will travel to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

United started off well but you could see that Arsenal were at Old Trafford to take some points away from the Red Devils, as they did last season. Carrick’s side seemed more confident than they had been in recent weeks, having had two good results against Villarreal and Chelsea. The game was there for the taking. However, United conceded a goal in the 13th minute of the match. Fred stamped on David De Gea’s foot, he was down on the ground and Emile Smith Rowe powered his shot towards goal and it went in. The referee looked to have his whistle near his mouth at the time, but he did not blow up for a foul or anything. The goal was given.

United tried to get back into the game. It was a long period before they got something to write home about. This United side had lots of talent and it was starting to look good for them. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave United something the club needed; a plan, direction and he reset the way of life at the club for the better. He will gain more praise when things have been achieved as without him it would never have happened like this. Carrick seemed interested in kicking on and this United side showed some determination against Arsenal. It was almost like this team have decided to start performing because they know what could happen for them now.

In the 44th minute of the match, Bruno Fernandes scored his fifth goal of the season with Fred laying in the assist. It was a great goal for the Portuguese midfielder. United were back in the game and would need to find a way of getting ahead and pushing on to win the match. It was a positive result at the break for United and that would guide them into the second half to try and get the win. That was exactly what United needed to do, helping to claw some points back from their poor period over the last few months, getting closer to the summit of the table than the mid level of the table.

Seven minutes into the second half, United took the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo, assisted by Marcus Rashford, scoring his eleventh goal of the season and the 800th goal in his career. It was a good goal for the Portuguese superstar and an even better one for the morale of the team, also building on the confidence of this season. However, just two minutes later, Arsenal had levelled through Martin Odegaard which was a shame. United now had something to work for again and would need to get there in order to take the points in this match. With Ralf Rangnick watching, the players would need to dig deep and push for this victory.

In the 70th minute of the match, Fred was taken out in the box and a penalty should have been awarded. However, the referee did not give anything and play continued. VAR assessed the penalty and gave the referee a chance to view the foul in the box. The penalty was given. Ronaldo took it, scoring his twelfth goal of the season and his 801st goal of his career. It put United back in the lead and gunning for the three points in this match. Arsenal would not take that lying down. It was convincing for United, who had definitely improved since Carrick took the help of the club, albeit temporarily. The future is going to be considerably better.

United found Arsenal trying to barrage them in the last twenty minute of the match and that was weathered well. Carrick made his first change of the match with Jesse Lingard replacing Rashford in the 79th minute of the match. Nine minutes later, after Ronaldo bust a gut to get into the box for a late attack, he was replaced by Anthony Martial. Two minutes after that, Donny van de Beek replaced Bruno Fernandes. It all seemed certain for United to get their first Premier League victory at home since their 4-1 victory over Newcastle United in the 11 September and their first league victory since the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on the 30 October.

After the match, it was announced that Carrick was stepping down from his role as a coach, leaving the club this evening, which is a shame. He has done well over the last three matches and it will be remembered well by the supporters of the club. Perhaps he wants to cut his teeth in management elsewhere, which is fair enough. United will return to Premier League action, against at Old Trafford on Sunday when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Theatre of Dreams seeking to get one over the London club after their 3-1 victory in this fixture at the star of last season. Rangnick’s United will emerge and the start of a new era will commence.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Conceded a goal with him on the floor after being stood on by Fred. He protested it though but it stood. His save at 1-1 was important for United. Stood firm in his role as goalkeeper as United took the points from this match.


20 Diogo Dalot

Sloppy at the start but he grew into the game. His positioning was key for United. He launched a shot on goal, which could have tested Arsenal. Seemed to be the attacking right-back that could thrive at United under Rangnick. Played a key pass for Ronaldo's goal. After this performance, he should play more.


2 Victor Lindelof

Seemed uncomfortable at set-pieces, which was United's Achilles heel recently. He defended well and did what he needed to do. No clean sheet but three points in the bag - deservedly so.


5 Harry Maguire

Steeped up for the big occasion. United needed this win over Arsenal. He helped provide the attack with balls and he defended resolutely. This Maguire needs to continue showing up to matches.


27 Alex Telles

Performed well for much of the match. Seemed settled in his role and determined to keep his place in the team. However, he was dragged out of his position by Martinelli who set up Smith Rowe. Mistakes happen and it will be a learning curve. Other than that, he played his part in the match.


17 Fred

Started poorly, especially standing in De Gea's foot and United conceding a goal. Seemed off at times. His passing was shoddy and he needed a lot of improvement. He set up Fernandes in the 44th minute and seemed to get better as theme grew on. Won a penalty in the 70th minute, which was the winner for United.


39 Scott McTominay

Used his aggression to put himself about in the midfield. Booked for a foul in added time at the end of the first half. Did not seem to care about it either. He tired in the second half, but still offered United something.


25 Jadon Sancho

One of the best players on the pitch in this match. It is great for Sancho right now. He was one of the players that sparked for United in their bid to recover from that first Arsenal goal.


18 Bruno Fernandes

Did not seem to be in his best form and was sloppy at times. That happens in football a lot. What matters was that he was where he was when Fred played him the ball to equalise in the 44th minute of the match. He was replaced by Van de Beek in the 90th minute.


10 Marcus Rashford

Does not fit United's plan on the right, which is where Sancho needs to be playing. Showed good vision picking out Ronaldo for United's second goal of the game. Replaced by Lingard in the 79th minute.


7 Cristiano Ronaldo

The first half was not the best for him, but matches are always two halves. He threatened more from the start of the second half, seeing an effort denied by Ramsdale before Ronaldo put United ahead, scoring his 800th career goal in the 52nd minute of the match. He scored a penalty in the 70th minute to seal the victory for United. MOTM for me. Replaced by Martial in the 88th minute.



14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Rashford 79'. Gave his energy but that was alone brought to the game. It seems clear that his time at United could be over, however, that could all change for him now if he works hard and changes his form massively.


9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Ronaldo 88'. Brought some energy and seemed to be looking to improve himself, which will be needed under Rangnick.


34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced Fernandes 90'. Came on in the last minute of the match. Not enough time to get involved. Maybe he will play more under Rangnick?


Goals: Bruno Fernandes 44′, Cristiano Ronaldo 52′, 70′ penalty; Emile Smith Rowe 13′, Martin Odegaard 54′

Assists: Fred 44′, Marcus Rashford 52′; Mohamed Elneny 13′, Gabriel Martinelli 54′

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; Fred, McTominay; Sancho, Fernandes (Van de Beek 90′), Rashford (Lingard 79′); Ronaldo (Martial 88′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Jones; Mata; Greenwood, Amad

Bookings: Scott McTominay 45+1′

Written by John Walker

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