Michael Carrick knocked Manchester United out with a win as Cristiano Ronaldo beat Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday to surpass 800 goals for club and country. Carrick was last taking over as caretaker manager, with new interim boss Ralph Rangnick watching from the stands and announcing after the match that he would be leaving the club rather than returning to his coaching role. The former United midfielder was part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching staff and was criticized by former teammate Paul Scholes for staying at the club after the Norwegian’s dismissal.
“It’s 100% my decision,” Carrick said. “I thought it was the right thing to do for the club and Ralph and I’m very happy with it.
“We were in a position where it was a responsibility to watch these games. Loyalty to Ole is a factor but there were a lot of things that went into my decision.”
A crucial three points means Rangnik will take charge with United just three points away from the Premier League top four and an enticing run of fixtures to get into the festive period.
Victory also completed a fine stint as caretaker for Carrick after reaching the Champions League last 16 and a credible 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Chelsea.
United fans paid tribute to Solskjaer with a banner in the first match at Old Trafford since he was dismissed.
However, once action resumed, nothing changed from the final days of his reign as United began similarly humiliating home defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ben White had chances for the visitors within the first two minutes.
He was in a weird mood when Arsenal came out on the 13th minute.
Emil Smith Rowe’s shot bounced into the unprotected net and David de Gea was injured at the bottom and was picked up by his own player, Fred.
Referee Martin Atkinson blew the whistle to stop play, but only after the ball had crossed the line and so the goal was scored.
Arsenal players turned down United’s request to stand aside and allow them to equalize in a gesture of fair play.
But he did so of his own accord a minute before half-time when Jadon Sancho and Fred linked Fernandes to score his first goal since September.
Ronaldo was dropped on the bench by Carrick at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, amid suggestions that it could become a more common occurrence under Rangnik’s high-energy style.
Adjusting to the 36-year-old has been one of the reasons for United’s decline defensively this season.
But since returning in his second spell with the Red Devils, Ronaldo has ended the deal with 12 goals in 17 appearances.
He brilliantly slipped Marcus Rashford’s cross home, but United’s lead lasted just over two minutes as Arsenal almost responded with a carbon copy equalizer.
This time Gabriel Martinelli was the provider to drive Odegaard into the far corner.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “We had some really good moments and when you score two goals you expect to get something out of the game, but it’s our own fault.”
“We deserve more than what we got but you get punished for this quality of players.”
The night he reached another notable personal milestone, the stage was set to revitalize the United season for Ronaldo when Fred was cut inside the box by Odegaard from the time of 20 minutes.
Fernandes exploded when he retained penalty duty against Aston Villa earlier in the season.
This time he stood apart for his international teammate, who smashed the ball in front of Ramsdale for his 130th combined goal in two spells.
Ronaldo is the record goalscorer in international football with 450 goals for Real Madrid, 101 at Juventus, five goals for Sporting Lisbon and 115 for Portugal.
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