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Manchester United 3-1 Arsenal: Antony debut goal and Rashford brace seals win over Gunners

Big three points over our rivals from the south...

Manchester United v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Manchester United took a 3-1 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday, massively lifting the vibes at the club and breaking in their new signing in the grand manner. It was a testy fixture, but a statement win for Erik ten Hag’s men as they look to build on improving form.

Appeared to be a pretty open game in the opening minutes, with United having the better of possession. Christian Eriksen and Jadon Sancho both had angled efforts,

Arsenal struck with a counter attack goal from Gabriel Martinelli in the 12th minute of the match, but a VAR review found that Eriksen was fouled when dispossessed in build up. Still, it was a dangerous show of what the Gunners could do if United were careless in possession.

The game grew in both quality and intensity from both sides from that moment on. Arsenal began to possess more, and while they didn’t quite find clear opportunities they certainly looked threatening. They did however leave themselves open a bit, and United pounced in the 35th minute.

Bruno Fernandes received the ball in space, and played a pass to Jadon Sancho just before being fouled. With advantage played, Sancho found Rashford with one man to beat, and the centre forward calmly laid a through ball past the back line for Antony to arrive unmarked on the right hand side of the box and place a shot past Aaron Ramsdale for a debut goal.

They went into the break up 1-0 thanks to their €100m man. It was a fairly even half of football, making the advantage all the more important.

Arsenal started on the front foot, determined to equalize early. On about 50 minutes Martin Odegaard missed a sitter, followed quickly by a wide effort by Bukayo Saka. They were growing into the game through their dominance of possession, and United were risking losing control if they didn’t make changes quickly.

Antony was subbed off first, with Cristiano Ronaldo on in his place in the 58th minute. It came right before Arsenal took a free kick in a dangerous position, and while it was dealt with, United struggled to do anything with possession. just a minute later a turnover in the middle third led to a quick break for Arsenal, finished off by Bukayo Saka to make it 1-1 on the hour.

United responded five minutes later with a quick strike from Marcus Rashford. He was fed through well by Bruno Fernandes on the through ball in transition, and he smashed it past Ramsdale to regain the lead for United. It was the kind of spark they needed immediately after conceding, and it fueled them defensively as well.

The fight carried on, and United used it to their advantage. Eriksen pounced in behind and laid It across for Rashford to tap in and make it 3-1. It felt like a dagger for Arsenal as well as another injection of energy for United. Casemiro and Harry Maguire came on soon after to help kill the game, and while the former immediately had a dangerous giveaway the former came in with a tactical foul to force a chance for Arsenal into a bad free kick attempt. Things calmed down a bit after that, and with that United saw out the win and took three big points.

It’s only the start of a nasty run of fixtures going forward, with Europa League starting and the Premier League trying to fit games in before the World Cup, but United have managed to turn themselves around quickly after an atrocious start. It’s looking good, and the vibes are nice, but we go again Thursday against Real Sociedad.