Manchester United secured a crucial victory over Arsenal in their Premier League clash at Old Trafford, with Cristiano Ronaldo taking his career goals tally up to 801.
The visitors took the lead in bizarre circumstances in the 13th minute when Emile Smith Rowe fired the ball home with goalkeeper David De Gea laid stricken on the floor injured.
It was Fred who trod on the Spanish shot-stopper’s ankle in the build-up to the visitor’s opening goal, but the midfielder made amends on the stroke of half-time, teeing up Bruno Fernandes for the equaliser.
Ronaldo then expertly finished from Marcus Rashford’s cutback shortly after the interval before the game swung back in Arsenal’s favour.
Martin Odegaard’s near-identical strike levelled things up once again until the five-time Ballon d’Or winner smashed a winning penalty down the middle of the goal after VAR advised referee Martin Atkinson to go to the pitchside monitor.
Despite Ronaldo’s brace, though, it was perhaps his compatriot Fernandes who stole the show in this entertaining midweek encounter, proving to be Michael Carrick’s final Old Trafford hero.
As per SofaScore, the 27-year-old received a match rating of 7.8 out of 10 for his impressive exploits, the second-highest total awarded amongst his teammates to feature on Thursday night.
Throughout the 90 minutes, Fernandes made a whopping four key passes to his grateful teammates, made two tackles, and picked out a colleague with two of his three attempted long balls, highlighting his influence over proceedings.
And 90min journalist Craig Vickers was equally as impressed, writing: “A couple of gorgeous lofted balls in behind the Arsenal defence, taking his goal well,” after awarding him a seven out of 10.
With winnable fixtures against the likes of Crystal Palace, Young Boys and Norwich City up next, new manager Ralf Rangnick will be hoping Fernandes can maintain this sort of form in the weeks ahead.