MANCHESTER (England): Marcus Rashford struck twice as Manchester United won four in a row and finished Arsenalit’s a perfect start for the premier league season with a 3-1 win at Old Trafford on Sunday.
A fast-paced, top-quality game was decided by two Rashford goals at the break after Bukayo Saka canceled out United debutant Antony’s opener.
Arsenal remained top of the table with 15 points from their first five wins and while they are disappointed to have ended that run, it was far from the kind of soft defeat against Big Six opponents. that they have produced in the recent past.
United appear to have regained their faith after starting the campaign with terrible defeats to Brighton and Brentford and Dutch manager Erik ten Hag’s approach is paying off.
Antony secured a place on the right flank with Rashford center and Jadon Sancho on the left but Cristiano Ronaldo started on the bench alongside Brazilian Casemiro.
United dominated the opening exchanges, camping in Arsenal’s half and there was a first chance for Christian Eriksen, but the Dane’s volley went wide.
Arsenal looked deft on the ball, however, and Gabriel Martinelli appeared to have given them a 12th-minute lead after completing a fast break.
But referee Paul Tierney was sent to the monitor and disallowed the goal after ruling Eriksen had been fouled by Martin Odegaard before launching the counterattack.
Martinelli forced two saves from United goalkeeper David De Gea as the visitors began to dominate, but it was the home side who drew first blood, 10 minutes before the break.
Brazilian Antony, signed from Ajax last week, was found on the right by Rashford and coolly drifted a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Arsenal justly equalized, on the hour mark, when the exceptional Odegaard threaded a ball towards Gabriel Jesus in the area and after a tackle from Raphael Varane the ball fell on Saka who went home.
United may have panicked or disappeared last season, but six minutes later they restored their lead when Bruno Fernandes found Rashford with a superb through ball and the England striker confidently beat Aaron Ramsdale.
It was another quick counter that led to United’s third with the excellent Erkisen breaking clear and sliding the ball over to Rashford for a simple finish.
A run of four wins, including victories over Liverpool and Arsenal, totally changed the mood at Old Trafford and Ten Hag was rightly pleased with the resilience of his players.
“The spirit of this team, they can deal with setbacks so we did that, it’s really great and it shows your mentality – we’ve really improved on that,” he said.
“We are happy and satisfied with the victory, as well as the performance against a very good team – they played very well,” he said.
United moved up to fifth in the table, three points behind Arsenal.

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