Antony scored on his debut and Marcus Rashford netted a brace as Manchester United won 3-1 to hand Arsenal their first defeat of the season.
Erik ten Hag saw his side start well before the Gunners found their rhythm, and the visitors had a goal controversially disallowed after a foul on Christian Eriksen in the build-up to Gabriel Martinelli’s finish.
Arsenal continued to dominate the rest of the half, with Gabriel Jesus in particular a constant threat, but they found themselves behind when Eriksen sparked a slick passing move which was finished off coolly by deadline-day signing Antony.
United sat back in the second half which allowed Mikel Arteta’s side to enjoy most of the possession with Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka both spurning good opportunities in the box.
And their play was finally rewarded on the hour mark when Saka scored his first goal of the season from close range after capitalising on Raphael Varane’s poor clearance.
Against the run of play, the home side punished some sloppiness to retake the lead on the counter-attack after Fernandes threaded the ball through to Rashford who scored via a deflection.
Mikel Arteta made a triple change, bringing on Fabio Vieira for his debut, but it backfired as United scored their third – again on the counter – with Eriksen unselfishly squaring it to Rashford to convert from close range and make it four wins in a row for Ten Hag’s developing side.
After a torrid start, Ten Hag is getting some consistency out of this group.
United’s identity under Ten Hag has been taking shape since the win at Liverpool with their counter-attacking play, defensive solidness from playing the same back four again today, and the trickery of Eriksen.
Despite the Ronaldo saga set to remain until at least January, there seems to be some unity and spirit in the squad as Arsenal put them under long periods of pressure.
Arteta will feel hard done by but his side were punished for making mistakes at crucial times.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Christian Eriksen (Manchester United): The Dane is getting the best out of Bruno Fernandes, which Paul Pogba failed to do consistently, with his exquisite range of passing in the past few matches. And he was involved in all three goals today.
MAN UNITED: De Gea 6, Dalot 6, Varane 6, Martinez 7, Malacia 6, McTominay 6, Eriksen 9, Fernandes 8, Antony 8, Sancho 5, Rashford 9. Subs: Ronaldo 5, Fred n/a, Casemiro n/a, Maguire n/a.
ARSENAL: Ramsdale 6, White 7, Saliba 6, Gabriel 7, Zinchenko 7, Lokonga 5, Xhaka 6, Odegaard 7, Saka 8, Martinell 6, Jesus 8. Subs: Smith-Rowe n/a, Nketiah n/a, Vieira n/a, Tomiyasu n/a.
12′ – DISALLOWED GOAL FOR ARSENAL! The visitors break away, Martinelli is through on goal and puts it past De Gea after outpacing Dalot. But VAR takes a look at a foul on Eriksen in the build-up, Paul Tierney has a look at the monitor and its disallowed.
35′ – GOAL FOR MAN UTD! It’s Antony on his debut with space in the box, who strokes it into the bottom corner, from Rashford’s pass.
60′ – GOAL FOR ARSENAL! The ball is played through to Jesus, it’s cleared by Varane but only as far as Saka who strokes it in.
66′ – GOAL FOR UNITED! Eriksen to Fernandes who plays in Rashford on goal and he lashes it into the bottom corner via a deflection.
75′ – GOAL FOR UNITED! Eriksen is through on goal, unselfishly squares it to Rashford who scores a tap-in.