Manchester United’s £82m new boy Antony scored on his debut and Marcus Rashford got two as Erik ten Hag’s men ended Arsenal’s 100% start to the season at Old Trafford. The Brazilian opened the scoring 10 minutes before half-time in the pulsating duel, sweeping a shot into the far corner. Rashford claimed the assist for that and then, after Bukayo Saka had levelled on the hour, the England striker profited from two clinical United counter-attacks. Bruno Fernandes was at the heart of both, splitting the Arsenal defence for Rashford’s first, then sending Christian Eriksen clear as the Dane provided the striker with a tap-in.
It was Rashford’s first Premier League double since December 2020, helping lift them to fifth in the table. Arsenal remain top. However, after their excellent start to the season, manager Mikel Arteta will be concerned at how easily his side were opened up, although the Gunners did have a first-half Gabriel Martinelli goal ruled out by VAR. Although they failed in their attempt to start the season with six wins in a row for the first time since 1947, it wasn’t a completely disastrous day for Arsenal. In the current climate, Martin Odegaard bundling Eriksen over to win possession and start the move that led to Martinelli finding the net was always going to see the goal ruled out.
However, Arteta spent a long time debating with fourth official Simon Hooper about Lisandro Martinez’s penalty box lunge on Saka, where he did touch the man and not the ball. Arsenal should have equalised when Gabriel Jesus got the better of Martinez and set up Odegaard but neither the Norwegian, nor Saka as Arsenal continued to press could find the target when well placed to do much better. David de Gea acrobatically denied Martinelli as well, so Arsenal did have the opportunities to make more of their dominance of possession. Odegaard and Xhaka were excellent in midfield and it is clear they have a more consistent goal threat with Jesus in their side.