Marcus Rashford scored two goals and set up another as Manchester United secured a dramatic 3-2 victory over Barclays Premier League rivals Arsenal.
The striker repeated his midweek heroics, firing United into a 2-0 lead with two strikes in three first-half minutes, before former Red Danny Welbeck pulled one back five minutes before the break. The youngster was involved again with 25 minutes remaining, teeing up Ander Herrera to add a third, and Mezut Ozil’s reply proved in vain for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Ahead of the game, the Reds were boosted by the news of David De Gea’s return to the starting line-up, in one of two changes from the side that beat Midtjylland on Thursday. Marcos Rojo was also named on the teamsheet, having come on as a late substitute against the Danish champions.
As expected, both sides were eager to make an early impression, and came out of the traps quickly. The first chance was a significant one and fell at the feet of Nacho Monreal, who was found superbly by Ozil on six minutes but couldn’t beat De Gea from close range.
The Reds had appeals for penalty turned down shortly after, as Rashford – retaining his place after a superb two-goal display in midweek – went past two defenders before going down under challenge from Gabriel Paulista. Replays showed the fouled occurred outside the area, and Memphis forced Petr Cech into a good save from the resulting free-kick.
With chances few and far between, the game burst into life just before the half-hour mark. United broke forward in numbers and the ball found Varela on the right; Arsenal failed to clear the youngster’s first-time cross, and Rashford calmly fired the Reds into the lead.
The goal left the Gunners shaken, and Wenger’s men were soon picking the ball out of their net again. The Reds attacked at pace once more, and it was another right-wing cross did the damage. Varela picked out Lingard, and the winger’s pin-point delivery was met by Rashford, who headed beyond Cech to send Old Trafford into raptures.