Rashford lauds ruthless Man Utd as Red Devils halt Arsenal's perfect start

·3-min read

Marcus Rashford hailed Manchester United's ruthless counter-attacking display after he scored a second-half brace to inflict Arsenal's first defeat of the Premier League season on Sunday.

Looking to win their opening six games of a top-flight campaign for the first time since 1947-48, Arsenal spent long periods on top at Old Trafford but ultimately fell to a 3-1 reverse courtesy of Rashford's double and a debut goal from Antony.

Rashford has been involved in more Premier League goals against Arsenal than any other club (four goals, four assists) after being teed up by Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen to round off two devastating breaks.

Speaking to Sky Sports after United clinched a huge win over the early league leaders, Rashford praised the Red Devils for biding their time to hurt a technically gifted Gunners side.

"It's a massive game anyway against Arsenal, and they've had such a good start to the season, so it was a big test for us today and we showed up and stood up to the challenge. We can all be proud of ourselves today," he said.

"It was tough; they're a good team. We know their principles of play and they're very good at it, they're a good possession-based team. It was a difficult game and it was what we expected, so we had to be up for the challenge.

"I thought it was an even game. There were big spaces in the first half and we didn't manage to exploit them. In the second half we managed to exploit the spaces and that's what made the difference.

Man Utd 3-1 Arsenal
Man Utd 3-1 Arsenal

"We've got some great passers of the ball and as long as we make four or five runs, we're going to get the ball. We might not get it the first couple of times, but we have to keep going for 90 minutes and it's tough.

"We had to try to give them possession in spaces where they couldn't hurt us. They're a dangerous team. But as you can see today there was a couple of times where they got through the press and they are electric when they get going.

"You only win these types of games when you're a team. I think we've shown in the last few games, being 1-0 up, that we can see a game out, but we had to be more ruthless and get more goals."

Rashford has looked a player reborn since Erik ten Hag took charge of United, scoring three goals in six league appearances this season after hitting the net just four times in 25 outings last term.

Having also teed up Antony for his first-half opener, Rashford has scored and assisted in a Premier League match for the first time since October 2020 (against Newcastle United), while he also found the net against Arsenal for the first time since his February 2016 debut, when he also recorded a brace.

The 24-year-old acknowledged he had endured a frustrating time as he looked to maintain his improved form, adding: "It's a great feeling – you do miss it as a player.

"I'm just hoping I can stay fit, stay healthy and keep putting performances on like that. It's been a long time that I've not scored against Arsenal – I didn't realise it had been that long until before the game.

"It was something I was looking to do this year and I'm happy that I managed to get the goals."

United are just three points behind Arsenal in the Premier League after winning four consecutive games – their best run since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer led them to five successive victories in March and April 2021.