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Player ratings as Rashford double sinks Gunners

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A double from Marcus Rashford powered Manchester United to a fourth successive victory as they edged Arsenal 3-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday.


United engineered the first opportunity of the afternoon. Diogo Dalot stood up a cross towards the back post where Christian Eriksen arrived to plant a left-footed volley wide of the target.

Arsenal went immediately up the other end and passed up a chance of their own. The ball ricocheted across the penalty box from a throw-in, falling to William Saliba who steered his finish wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Indeed, the Gunners thought they had fashioned the perfect start when Gabriel Martinelli dispatched beyond David De Gea. Albert Sambi Lokonga threaded a gorgeous through pass into the Brazilian, but VAR intervened and ruled that Martin Odegaard had fouled Christian Eriksen in the process of gaining possession.

Mikel Arteta’s side began to settle with Martinelli drawing a fine stop from De Gea after meeting Odegaard’s clipped cross at the back post.

However, it was United who struck first to break the deadlock. Eriksen reversed a cute pass into Fernandes in midfield who drew Gabriel out of defence with a driving run. Exploiting the space, United moved the ball out right to debutant Antony who curled a finish beyond Ramsdale and into the far corner.

Arsenal emerged for the second half with renewed vigour. Gabriel Jesus did well to spin Lisandro Martinez from a throw-in but Odegaard made a meal of his pull-back. From the second phase, Saka did well to control a loose ball before firing wide of De Gea’s far post.

For all of the Gunners’ pressure, however, United hit them with a sucker punch down the opposite end. A cheap turnover allowed Fernandes to free Rashford in behind the Arsenal defence with only Ramsdale to beat, firing low into the bottom corner with the aid of a Ben White deflection.

Arteta threw the kitchen sink at going for an equaliser, but Arsenal were left exposed defensively. Eriksen was offered the freedom of Old Trafford to latch onto a pass on the halfway line and run at the visitors’ goal. He selflessly squared to Rashford to stroke into an empty net.

Here’s how both teams rated.

Antony celebrates

Antony celebrates / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

GK: David De Gea – 6/10 – Had very little to contend with in terms of shots on target, making a smart stop to deny Martinelli in the first half.

RB: Diogo Dalot – 6/10 – Difficult assignment against Martinelli, but his positioning was typically spot on. Really good at covering across the penalty area.

CB: Raphael Varane – 5/10 – Struggled to deal with the all-action presence of Gabriel Jesus.

CB: Lisandro Martinez – 5/10 – Like Varane, experienced some difficulties against Gabriel Jesus. Proved effective on the ball.

LB: Tyrell Malacia – 6/10 – Beaten too easily by Saka one-on-one early in the game, but he regained his composure.

CM: Scott McTominay – 6/10 – Never afraid to throw his weight around, helping United break up Arsenal attacks.

CM: Christian Eriksen – 8/10 – A VAR reprieve spared him from being at fault for an Arsenal goal. Played a gorgeous threaded pass that freed Fernandes in space in the lead up to United’s opener. Such a clever and efficient performance.

AM: Bruno Fernandes – 8/10 – Lovely take and turn to effectively create United’s opener, before supplying Rashford to restore his side’s lead.

RW: Antony – 7/10 – The dream debut for the Brazilian, finishing cooly beyond Ramsdale from a tight angle. Tired in the second half but he will be content with his day’s work.

ST: Marcus Rashford – 8/10 – Cute pass through Zinchenko’s legs to tee up Antony for his debut strike, before making a good run and finish to help United restore their lead. Capped off his performance by grabbing a second from Eriksen’s square pass.

LW: Jadon Sancho – 6/10 – Found it difficult to get at White down the left-hand side. United struggled to find him in space.

SUB: Cristiano Ronaldo (57′ for Antony) – 5/10 – Didn’t offer much in attack, but United improved after his introduction.

SUB: Fred (67′ for Sancho) – N/A

SUB: Harry Maguire (80′ for Martinez) – N/A

SUB: Casemiro (80′ for Rashford) – N/A

Manager: Erik ten Hag – 7/10 –
United have certainly become more resilient under the Dutchman since that harrowing evening at Brentford. His decision to deploy Antony from the off was immediately vindicated.

Bukayo Saka celebrates

Saka celebrates / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 5/10 – Made the strange decision to cover his near post when Antony’s body shape suggested the opposite.

RB: Ben White – 6/10 – Provided an effective overlapping option on the right-hand side. Stifled Sancho impressively.

CB: William Saliba – 6/10 – Booked for preventing a United counter-attack in the first half, but it never impacted his defensive display.

CB: Gabriel – 5/10 – Forced to overcompensate for the gap in Arsenal’s midfield in the lead up to United’s opener. Made the strange decision to dive in which left the Gunners short of cover.

LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6/10 – Effective at stepping infield to provide another passing option. Combined superbly with Xhaka and Martinelli.

CM: Albert Sambi Lokonga – 5/10 – Some nervy moments early on. His defensive positioning left a lot to be desired and allowed United to progress the ball into dangerous central areas in the first half, but improved after the break.

CM: Granit Xhaka – 6/10 – The positions he took up on the left-hand side caused United issues aplenty. Developing into a very useful player for Arteta.

AM: Martin Odegaard – 6/10 – Passed up a great chance to equalise from a Jesus cut-back early in the second half, but redeemed himself by squeezing a gorgeous pass into Jesus that Saka eventually levelled from.

RW: Bukayo Saka – 7/10 – Enjoyed some early joy one-on-one against Malacia before drifting in and out of the game. Took his goal really well which will surely boost his confidence.

ST: Gabriel Jesus – 8/10 – Continued his impressive start to the season. His hold-up play and strength in attack was instrumental and he deserved a goal for his efforts.

LW: Gabriel Martinelli – 7/10 – Finished with ruthless efficiency that was later chalked off by VAR in the first half. A real menace on the left-hand with his blend of physicality and speed.

SUB: Eddie Nketiah (74′ for Zinchenko) – N/A

SUB: Emile Smith-Rowe (74′ for Lokonga) – N/A

SUB: Fabio Vieira (74′ for Odegaard) – N/A

SUB: Takehiro Tomiyasu (80′ for White) – N/A

Manager: Mikel Arteta – 5/10 – His team performed with assurance, but they lacked a cutting edge in the final third. The decision to throw on three attackers backfired with a very soft concession of a third goal.

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