Man Utd emerged victorious in a topsy-turvy Premier League encounter with Arsenal as Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a brace in a 3-2 victory.
Arsenal started the contest on the front foot, immediately threatening the Man Utd goal with a Ben White header from a corner. Fortunately for the hosts, Marcus Rashford was on the goalline to clear.
United threatened through Diogo Dalot shot from distance, but they fell behind in bizarre circumstances in the 13th minute.
As the hosts cleared from a corner, David de Gea went down under contact from his own player. Unaware to what was unfolding, Emile Smith Rowe struck a volley into the bottom corner with the United goalkeeper on the floor. After a brief pause while he consulted his officials, Martin Atkinson awarded the goal.
Arsenal could have doubled their lead shortly after when Gabriel Martinelli weaved his way into the penalty area after a give-and-go with Martin Odegaard, but the Brazilian dragged his effort wide.
United then began to get their foot on the ball, seeking to penetrate down their left hand side, and they were rewarded just before the interval when Bruno Fernandes struck beyond Aaron Ramsdale.
Working the ball around Takehiro Tomiyasu, Fred broke into the penalty area before cutting the ball back to the waiting Fernandes. The Portuguese cooly side-footed his effort beyond the Arsenal goalkeeper.
The second half was only six minutes old when United edged infront. Latching onto a gorgeous reverse pass from Diogo Dalot, Rashford pulled the ball back to Ronaldo who dispatched into the corner.
However, Arsenal rallied instantly. Martinelli received from Thomas Partey and the Brazilian laid on Odegaard who swept the ball into the net with his weak foot from just inside the penalty area.
It was from hero to villain for Odegaard, however, as the Norwegian gifted United a route back infront when he fouled Fred inside the area. After consulting the pitchside monitor, Atkinson awarded the penalty and Ronaldo dispatched from 12 yards.
Arsenal continued to push for an equaliser, with Bukayo Saka having a few promising moments, but it was to no avail.
Here’s how both teams rated.
David de Gea (GK) – 4/10 – A bizarre moment for Arsenal’s opener, and he should know better than to stay down unless it’s a head injury.
Diogo Dalot (RB) – 8/10 – Replaced Aaron Wan-Bissaka and put forward a strong case for his inclusion going forward, playing a cute reverse pass in the lead up to Ronaldo’s goal.
Victor Lindelof (CB) – 6/10 – A commanding performance, always in the right position to sniff out danger.
Harry Maguire (CB) – 5/10 – Fortunate not be penalised for a foul on Tomiyasu from a free-kick, but a strong performance otherwise.
Alex Telles (LB) – 7/10 – A strong performance, motoring down the left hand side at will.
Scott McTominay (CM) – 5/10 – Provided energy to Man Utd’s performance, constantly getting stuck into the midfield battle.
Fred (CM) – 5/10 – A disappointing display until he laid on Fernandes for his goal, before regaining his composure in the second half.
Bruno Fernandes (AM) – 7/10 – A couple of gorgeous lofted balls in behind the Arsenal defence, taking his goal well.
Marcus Rashford (RW) – 5/10 – Barely had a sniff in the first half, but produced a well-timed cut-back for Ronaldo’s strike.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – 8/10 – Restored to the starting lineup by Carrick and, as expected, made the difference infront of goal.
Jadon Sancho (LW) – 3/10 – A performance symptomatic of his season, playing largely on the periphery.
Jesse Lingard (RW) – N/A
Anthony Martial (ST) – N/A
Donny van de Beek (AM) – N/A
Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – 5/10 – Could do little to prevent Man Utd’s goals, saving well on a few ocassions.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (RB) – 6/10 – Rock solid defensively and kept Jadon Sancho quiet.
Ben White (CB) – 6/10 – Marshalled Ronaldo well, but sliced a clearance in the lead to Fernandes’ leveller.
Gabriel (CB) – 7/10 – Made a couple of key interceptions, holding his own against United’s talented attack.
Nuno Tavares (LB) – 5/10 – Keeping Kieran Tierney out of the Arsenal side and performed well, although he wasn’t able to impact the game in the final third.
Thomas Partey (CM) – 2/10 – Very slack in his distribution, often looking a yard off the pace. Worrying.
Mohamed Elneny (CM) – 5/10 – A surprise inclusion from Arteta, but he did offer Arsenal bite in midfield.
Martin Odegaard (AM) – 5/10 – Floated into good areas, but he lacked options ahead of him to make the final pass. Took his goal very well, but silly concession of the penalty.
Gabriel Martinelli (RW) – 7/10 – Rewarded for his strike against Newcastle and he made the difference in the final third, laying on Odegaard for his goal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) – 3/10 – Led the line effectively, offering the side energy without the ball, but did very little with the ball.
Emile Smith Rowe (LW) – 6/10 – Took his volley well despite the bizarre circumstances, constantly buzzing with energy off the left hand side.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – N/A
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – N/A
Eddie Nketiah (ST) – N/A