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.
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