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Cristiano Ronaldo hits new heights as Man Utd shrug off Var controversy to win classic against Arsenal

The 800th senior goal of Ronaldo’s career was also his first in the Premier League since Oct 30. It was all in the movement, anticipating the cross from Marcus Rashford on the right and dropping into a pocket of space behind Ben White, all of which gave him plenty of time to stroke the ball into the far corner. United, brittle as ever, conceded within two minutes. This was a fine Arsenal goal – the switch from left to right, from Partey to Martinelli and cut back sweetly first time to Odegaard to sweep it into the far corner.

Fred won the penalty on 67 minutes, a foul by Odegaard unexpectedly overlooked by Atkinson given how clear it was. The referee only needed a few seconds by the Var monitor to give his decision. Ronaldo sent Aaron Ramsdale diving to his left as he drilled his penalty down the middle. The crowd expected nothing less, and for Rangnick up in the stands it was obvious who United have come to rely upon. Now the immediate future belongs to the German, and it will be up to him to make all those difficult decisions.

Michael Carrick to leave Man Utd on permanent basis

By James Ducker

Michael Carrick has left Manchester United with immediate effect after handing over the first team reins to Ralf Rangnick.

Carrick was unbeaten in his three matches as caretaker manager following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking but has opted not to stay on as part of Rangnick’s staff, a decision that ends his 15-year association with the club as a player and coach.

“It’s 100% my decision,” he said. “Over the last week I was conscious I respected the club and the manager coming in. I thought it was the right thing to do for the club and for Ralf. I’m quite happy with that. The loyalty to Ole is a little bit of a factor but there were a lot of things that came into my decision.

“It’s 15 and a half years I’ve been at this club and it takes over your life. I’ve dedicated everything I can do as a player and a coach. I promised my family after I retired we’d have a bit of time together and it never happened. In recent years it’s that gut feeling the timing is right, it’s not been easy to make that decision but in terms of family I’m really content and happy.”

Carrick said he had informed United’s first team staff of his decision at lunchtime on Thursday but waited until after the game to tell the players as he did not want any distractions ahead of such an important match.

“The board went up for five minutes [of stoppage time], then it hit me [I was leaving], I was just desperate for us to win the game,” he said.

“I told the players five minutes ago. [They were] a bit shocked, a bit emotional. I didn’t want anything to be about me. I can honestly say I’ve given it [the future] no thought. I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow – take the kids to school then we’ll see.”

Carrick won five Premier League titles and the Champions League with United following an £18.6 million move from Tottenham in 2006 and was then drafted on to the club’s coaching staff by former manager Jose Mourinho following his retirement. He then became part of Solskjaer’s back room team.

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