The Young Brazilian Scores in Manchester United Debut
Brazilian Antony Matheus dos Santos, simply known as Antony, had a dream start on his first appearance with Manchester United. Antony came to United from Dutch champions Ajax, for a season-record €100 million transfer. In Amsterdam, Antony played 57 matches and scored 10 goals in two seasons.
No Stage Fright
Antony scored the first goal of the match for Manchester United against Arsenal in the sixth round of the Premier League at Old Trafford. In his first game for United, the Brazilian striker shone in front of his new fans to put the team led by Erik ten Hag ahead – the coach who asked for his arrival from Ajax in the last summer transfer window.
The South American striker was highly engaged from the start of the match. It mattered little to him that it was his official debut against a big club like Arsenal, and he threw in tackles and dribbles and brought a lot of danger to the box guarded by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale’s goal.
In the 35th minute of the match, and after a great collective play from the Red Devils, Marcus Rashford assisted Antony along the right flank, who cuts to his left and beats Ramsdale. Old Trafford erupted with joy. Arsenal would level the score through a goal by Bukayo Saka in the 60th minute, but Rashford went on to score twice (66’ and 75’) to secure the win for United.
Ronaldo on the Rise
Thus, Manchester United added its fourth consecutive victory and defeated the previously unbeaten leaders Arsenal. It is worth mentioning that Cristiano Ronaldo came on in the second half in the 58th minute in place of Antony. The Portuguese striker tried but was unable to score. August 13 was the last time Erik ten Hag included Ronaldo in the starting lineup, against Brentford. Since then, the United manager has been putting Ronaldo in as a late substitute, with increasing minutes over the past four games.
The other big signing of the window, Brazilian Casemiro from Real Madrid, came on for an injured Rashford in the final 10 minutes. The attacker was suffering from muscular problems and gave way to the experienced Brazilian to help control Arsenal’s late attempts at goal.
With this win, United climbed to fifth place with 12 points, while Arsenal remains in the lead and edges Manchester City by one point. Next matchday, the Red Devils will visit Crystal Palace and Arsenal will host Everton.
European Hopes for United
After the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester United and Arsenal will be gearing up for their UEFA Europa League debut. Next Thursday, United will host Real Sociedad, while Arsenal will travel to Switzerland to face FC Zurich.
Despite being two of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, neither Arsenal nor Manchester United managed to qualify for the Champions League, which is why Cristiano Ronaldo asked to leave the Old Trafford team in the transfer window that ended a few days ago.