Michael Carrick signs out as caretaker manager with a win Old Trafford over fierce rival Arsenal in a thrilling match that saw Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo reaches 800th and 801st career goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo milestone as Man Utd beat Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford, incoming Utd interim boss Ralf Rangnick watched the game from the stand.
The Gunners are well aware that a victory at Old Trafford will see them go above Hammers in fourth place, therefore they took the lead in unusual circumstances. David de Gea slipped to the ground after his own player Fred stepped on his heel, allowing Emile Smith Rowe to slam the ball into an almost empty net before referee Martin Atkinson blew to stop play.
After a four-minute delay, Atkinson pointed to the centre circle after De Gea received medical attention and was fit to continue. Confusion prevailed over whether Mikel Arteta’s side had grabbed the lead.
United gradually gained control of the game, but they were up against a club that had maintained six league clean sheets this season and was doing an excellent job of limiting space. Gabriel Martinelli could have extended Arsenal’s lead after latching onto a sublime Smith Rowe cross but dragging his shot wide, leaving the Brazilian to rue his error.
Shortly before halftime, Jadon Sancho fed Fred, who made amends for his earlier gaffe by squaring the ball beautifully to Bruno Fernandes, who marked his 100th appearance for the club by easily slipping the ball past Aaron Ramsdale to end a 15-game goal drought.
De Gea made a superb reflex save to deny Gabriel just after the break before Ramsdale had to be alert to divert a Ronaldo effort to safety. But it didn’t take long for Portugal’s all-time leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo to set his new milestone, scoring expertly from close range.
The hosts took an early lead, but it was short-lived, it took just two minutes and forty-five seconds in between Man Utd second goal and Arsenal equaliser. Thomas Partey sent the ball to Martinelli, who found Martin Odegaard in the area and put the ball into the far corner to beat De Gea.
Martin Odegaard mistimed the tackle on Fred around the penalty box was penalised by Martin Atkinson who then awarded a penalty after consulting with VAR.
Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up, caught breath for a moment and then dispatch the ball beautifully into the net, Ramsdale could do nothing about it. The Theatre of Dreams came alive.
The win moves the ‘Red Devils’ up to the seventh place, just two points behind the Gunners, who are still in fifth place.
ENOMAOMORUYI MAN OF THE MATCH…
CRISTIANO RONALDO(MANCHESTER UNITED)
MAN UTD: Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the starting line-up as Michael Carrick made three changes for his final match as caretaker Manchester United boss. The Portuguese international came into the side along with Diogo Dalot and captain Harry Maguire.
ARSENAL:Mikel Arteta made two alterations as Gabriel Martinelli and Mohamed Elneny came in for Bukayo Saka and Albert Sambi Lokonga.
HERE’S WHAT BOTH MANAGER’S SAID AFTER THE GAME…
Man Utd interim boss Carrick: explains his decision to leave Man Utd to Amazon Prime: “It’s not been an easy decision to make, to be honest, but I feel it’s the right one and I feel quite happy.
“I’ve meant to take some time off after I finished playing and I promised the family that we would have some time together and it’s never happened. It feels like the right time to step away. I’ll be back around the place. I’m not disappearing. But it’s just the right time and what a way to finish. It’s a perfect night really.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to Amazon Prime: “It is what it is. If you concede three goals at Old Trafford, you make it very difficult to get a result.
“I’m disappointed with the way we conceded some of the goals. We had some really good periods. We got back in the game. When we scored the second one, we were in total control, but we threw it [away] again. We needed another two goals to win it and we were incapable of doing it.
“If you look at the game, you would say we deserved much more than what we got. But you get punished. Against this level of opponent, you cannot do some of the things we did.”
Manchester United now host Crystal Palace at 2 pm on Sunday in the Premier League that will possibly be Ralf Rangnick first game in charge, while Arsenal is at Everton on Monday Night Football at 8 pm, also in the Premier League.