One of the oldest rivalries in English football was revived in a big way last night as Manchester United went to war with Arsenal at Old Trafford. It was a back and forth duel that ultimately swung in favour of the Red Devils, who walked away with a 3-2 victory.
The win vaults United back into a spot of real relevancy in the top four race whereas for Arsenal, it leaves them with more questions than answers. Today, we’re going to take a look at a few things that have become evident in the wake of the result.
Carrick leaves on top
Michael Carrick was viewed as someone who was a big part of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer operation and while that may have been true, he seems to have created a positive environment in the immediate aftermath of Ole’s departure. He managed to win two games and draw one and after this victory, he decided to go out on top by leaving the club. It was quite the power move and with Ralf Rangnick coming in, you’d have to imagine Carrick will now look to pursue a career in management elsewhere.
Arsenal’s problems arise
Arsenal had more shots on goal and had the lion’s share of the possession, and yet, it still felt like an underwhelming outing. The opener was strange and was pretty much handed to them by the hosts with the second goal being a nice, and deserved, equaliser. Still, this is a club who has taken some big strides forward in the last few months and they would’ve come into this one with some high expectations. If nothing else, this reminds us that there’s still a long way to go before the Gunners can be considered legitimate contenders again.
Ronaldo papers over cracks
Cristiano Ronaldo hit 800 career goals and did so in some style on Thursday night, reaffirming his status as one of the best finishers in world football. Alas, the problems within this United squad are still painfully evident from their defensive struggles to being overrun in midfield to the forwards not doing enough to create sustained pressure. Ranginck will be happy with the win and he’ll understand that top four is going to be the primary aim between now and May, but this isn’t going to be an overnight job. If that’s what fans are expecting, they’re going to be in for a nasty surprise.