Manchester United vs Arsenal: 5 things we learned

Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-2 as interim manager Ralf Rangnick watched on from the stands at Old Trafford. Emile Smith-Rowe scored a bizarre opening goal for the Gunners, courtesy of a stamp on de Gea’s foot by Fred, leaving Smith-Rowe with an open goal to aim his volley at.

Bruno Fernandes equalised right before the end of the first half after a sublime interchange between Sancho and Fred. Then, Cristiano Ronaldo gave United the lead and beautifully directed Rashford’s cross into the corner of Ramsdale’s goal, after which Ødegaard scored a similar goal to make it 2-2. In the end, CR7 came in clutch and blasted a penalty to secure the win. United currently sit 7th in the table and are only 3 points behind West Ham who are 4th.

After the match, Micheal Carrick announced that he is leaving the club following the arrival of Ralf Rangnick.

Here are 5 things we learned from the match:

1) 🐐 Ronaldo Delivers Yet Again

Cristiano Ronaldo might just be the most clutch player the world of football has ever seen. Despite receiving heavy criticism in the past few weeks, the Portuguese managed to score 2 very important goals past Arsenal, taking his career goal tally to a record 801 goals.

CR7 owns Arsenal.

What better way to achieve that milestone than back at Old Trafford, in front of a fully packed Stretford End!

2) Dependence on “moments” continues

Throughout the past few months, United have been condemned to rely on moments for their goals, and this continued against Arsenal.

There isn’t a clear style of attacking and a lot of the plays are speculative. That is why, despite having the majority of the possession, we couldn’t do much with the ball. This needs to change.

With the arrival of Ralf Rangnick, however, this will not sustain. The only thing is that Rangnick does not have much time to prepare the Reds, as United are playing a match almost every 3 days due to the hectic December schedule.

3) Dalot’s Emergence

Diogo Dalot came in the team for injured Wan-Bissaka, and his performance was fairly impressive. The Portuguese was given a lot of space on the right flank to move forward and almost never seemed to miss the beat, which is unlike him.

He led the team in tackles (3), won four aerial duels, made two interceptions, and three clearances. In attack, he was constantly offering an outlet even though he was not utilized particularly effectively.

With Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s attacking prowess in major doubt, Dalot could very well revive his United career under Ralf Rangnick if he continues to play the way he did yesterday.

4) Lindelof is a key player

Lindelof’s development has not been talked about enough. The Swede has become a silent warrior in defence, easily more dependable than an out-of-form Harry Maguire and an error-prone Eric Bailly.

Against Arsenal, he held off Aubameyang impressively and was quite solid throughout the whole ninety minutes. It would be interesting to see whether Rangnick drops Maguire or Lindelof when Varane returns from injury.

5) Underrated Carrick

Since Michael Carrick has become United’s caretaker manager, United have, by no means, underperformed as suggested by some. In fact, the three games which he has managed have brought in excellent results.

Getting an away win against a Spanish opponent, more importantly against Emery’s Villarreal, is a rarity for a United manager. Carrick also managed to hold off The European Champions at Stamford Bridge and get 3 points against a high-flying Arsenal.

Personally, when I came to know that he’s leaving my club, I was disheartened. His relationship with the United players was excellent, and it wouldn’t have hurt to make him an assistant manager under Ralf Rangnick, along with Lars Kornetka.

Michael, if you’re reading this, I wish you all the best for your future endeavors; you’re certainly a very capable manager. Thank You for everything you’ve done for this football club for the past 15 years!

Author: Devansh

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