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The 4-1 embarrassment at the hands of Watford left Manchester United suites no choice but to relive Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of his duties. Evidently, this decision was the correct move to make as we’re now looking at five positive results for the Red Devils since the Norwegian manager’s departure.
A 2-0 success over Villareal during United’s matchday 5 Champions League outing offered a bitter-sweet moment, especially when reminiscing on the losing battle against the Spanish side in last year’s Europa League final. This result was quickly followed by a well deserved 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, many expected United to crumble in front of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea squad, but the tactical deliverance of Michael Carrick remained strong.
The former United player turned coach was successful during his caretaker manager position, and he left the Red Devils in a positive mental state upon the arrival of Rangnick. But his most triumphant moment during his small tenure was the 3-2 beating of Arsenal on home turf.
Respect & Thanks To Michael Carrick
As Solsjkaer cleared his office desk and made his way towards the Old Trafford exit, Michael Carrick was positioned to steady the ship whilst the United board talked business with Ralf Rangnick.
Carrick was instantly faced with three extremely challenging fixtures versus Chelsea, Villareal, and Arsenal, in where he collected 4 points and a Champions League final-16 qualification spot.
The Arsenal fixture began with an unfortunate 1-0 deficit for United when Emile Smith-Rowe gave his team the lead with nothing but an empty net to defeat.
The 14th-minute goal was created from a freak accident where Fred stood on David de Gea’s foot, and the Spanish goalkeeper dropped down in pain.
The referee failed to blow his whistle before Smith-Rowe capitalised and netted the ball, and the goal was unquestionable because the injury surfaced from de Gea’s teammate.
However, the early dramatics were soon turned around when Bruno Fernandes equalised just before the halftime whistle, and soon after the second half began, it was star man Ronaldo who slotted home his 800th career goal.
A cutback inside the box to Martin Odegaard saw the Gunners go level. Still, the goalscorer challenged Fred inside the penalty area, which resulted in a VAR check and a United penalty that wasn’t going to be missed by CR7.
The defining moment when Solskjaer’s exit became apparently positive was when United defeated their London rivals Arsenal. But more importantly, what did we learn from this result?
Why Hello Mr Rangnick
The Rangnick era began last Sunday when United defeated Crystal Palace 1-0, a surprising clean sheet result that the Red Devils have struggled to produce this term. However, Rangnick’s first physical appearance at Old Trafford was when the 63-year-old sat alongside John Murtough, United’s football director, for the Arsenal fixture.
The German coach will undoubtedly be aware of the challenging task he’s faced with turning this Manchester United squad towards his renowned style. Still, it seemed like his presence in the stands alone was enough to push his players to victory.
Number 801 for CR7
Taking a punt on Ronaldo to score has almost become a given since his return to the red side of Manchester. Bookmakers will often be found reducing the price on Ronaldo to score because of his prolific success in front of goal.
When sports bettors scroll through the anytime goalscorer market for their weekly sports picks, placing Ronaldo on the betting slip has been a money-making opportunity, even throughout the unreliable streak of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And during the Arsenal fixture, with his new manager in the crowd, Ronaldo proved that he’s still a significant asset for Rangnick’s squad selection moving forward.
Ronaldo’s first goal of the evening became the Portuguese superstar’s 800th goal. When the penalty was given, there was no other choice after Fernandes skyrocketed his previous penalty attempt against Aston Villa. CR7 stepped up, and it was 801 goals with a 3-point takeaway for United’s most prominent goal scorer.
Bruno is Back
Finally, after 16 appearances without a goal, a sigh of relief for Bruno Fernandes came when the number 18 levelled the score before halftime.
The timing couldn’t have been better, as the Portuguese international displayed his creative flair on his 100th appearance for Manchester United.
Again, with Rangnick in attendance, Fernandes looked refreshed and delivered a stellar performance he’s best known for.