MANCHESTER, England — Marcus Rashford’s brace and an early goal for Antony secured Manchester United a fourth straight win as a 3-1 victory ended Arsenal’s perfect start to the Premier League on Sunday.
Deadline day signing Antony was started after only joining on Thursday and took just 35 minutes to score his first goal, the $95million finish from Ajax chillingly sending in a left-footed effort.
By then, Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli had seen a goal ruled out after VAR advised referee Paul Tierney to review Martin Odegaard’s challenge on Christian Eriksen in the build-up.
Arsenal started the second half well and equalized through Bukayo Saka, only for United to fight back as Rashford was sent running to score with a brilliant through ball from Bruno Fernandes.
Rashford, 24, picked up his second after Eriksen snagged him in the 75th minute as United won four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since April 2021.
Arsenal’s run of five games to open the season has come to an end, but the visitors have dominated large spells at Old Trafford, suggesting they can challenge for a top-four spot this season.
The atmosphere was rocking at Old Trafford and the game got off to a lively start against the backdrop of anti-Glazer property chants that persisted throughout.
Eriksen flew narrowly wide at the far post after meeting a deep cross from Diogo Dalot, while at the other end William Saliba wasted a good chance when the ball fell to him in the box.
Jadon Sancho followed up fast footwork with a low drive that Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale prevented and a frantic opener reached a crescendo in the 12th.
Odegaard dispossessed Eriksen before Saka brought on Martinelli, the in-form forward passing David de Gea.
But Arsenal’s celebrations were cut short by VAR as the referee eventually ruled out the goal after going to the pitch monitor and believing Odegaard had fouled Eriksen.
Antony folded unnecessarily from distance as play was halted by fouls and treatment spells before Arsenal had a decent chance.
Martinelli made a low attempt from a sharp angle which De Gea prevented from squeezing at the near post, then soon after produced a superb save to prevent it from heading home.
These saves provided United with the platform to take the lead.
Eriksen crossed the lines to Fernandes and the referee played the advantage as the Portuguese moved past Sancho before being fouled by Gabriel.
The winger fed Rashford, whose tricky pass allowed Antony to curl a left-footed strike past Ramsdale. The new boy made the most of the celebrations.
There were a few half chances heading into half-time before Arsenal came back from the break with renewed intensity.
Gabriel Jesus found Odegaard with a cross from which he couldn’t make a clean connection and Saka crossed the face of goal as the visitors worked another opening. Tyrell Malacia’s attempt to stop the latter ended in penalty appeals which were ignored.
Saka’s floating cross then landed on the crossbar as United remained under pressure.
Cristiano Ronaldo replaced Antony but in the 60th minute Arsenal pressure said so.
After intercepting the ball, the Gunners quickly launched an attack. Odegaard slipped Jesus, with Dalot’s tackle on him, inadvertently putting the ball in Saka’s path to strike.
It was no less than the league leaders deserved at the time, but they were only tied for six minutes.
United picked up a loose pass and kicked in a break, with Fernandes’ excellent through ball allowing Rashford to hit a drive that beat Ramsdale and waved the back of the net past the Stretford End.
The Arsenal goalkeeper fended off the chip from Fernandes and, after Jesus closed in at the other end, he took the ball from his net in the 75th minute.
Fernandes took advantage of the visitors’ high line superbly with a pass that freed Eriksen. The experienced midfielder squared the ball for Rashford to score his second.
United moved up to fifth place, three points behind Arsenal.