Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes both refused to dwell on Manchester United’s come-from-behind win against Arsenal as the Red Devils look ahead to life under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
With Rangnick watching in the stands, Ronaldo scored twice to lead United past Premier League rivals Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday before caretaker boss Michael Carrick announced his departure from Old Trafford.
Carrick – who was placed in temporary charge after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking, overseeing wins against Villarreal and Arsenal, and a draw at Chelsea – revealed he would not be staying on and serving as a coach under Rangnick.
After helping to snap United’s three-game drought in the Premier League, superstar Ronaldo quickly switched focus as Rangnick prepares to see the embattled giants through until the end of the season.
Ronaldo, who scored the 800th and 801st goals of his illustrious career, wrote via his social media pages: “Our minds are already set on the next game, there’s no time to celebrate!
“Today’s win was very important to get back on track, but there’s still a long road to go until we reach our destination… Congrats to all my team-mates, great spirit tonight.”
United – seventh in the standings and 12 points behind leaders Chelsea – scored three goals in a home Premier League game against Arsenal for the first time since February 2016, with Carrick completing all 90 minutes that day.
The Red Devils were forced to come from behind following Emile Smith Rowe’s 13th-minute opener – Fernandes restoring parity a minute before half-time.
Fernandes made his 100th competitive appearance for United. Since his club debut in 2020, he has been directly involved in more goals in all competitions than any other player for Premier League sides (79 – 45 goals, 34 assists).
Ronaldo put United ahead seven minutes into the second half, only for Martin Odegaard to equalise two minutes later, though the Portuguese superstar sealed United’s victory via a 70th-minute penalty.
“Every win is important for us at this moment,” Portuguese star Fernandes told Amazon Prime post-match.
“We know that we have been through a lot of ups and downs, and it has been hard for us to come out of that.
“Today we got a great win, but we cannot stop here and be satisfied because we beat Arsenal. The next game is coming quick, so we have to put our heads on that straight away and be ready for that one.”
On countryman and team-mate Ronaldo, Fernandes added: “What can you say about that? It’s incredible.
“He’s proving game by game, year by year, season by season, that he wants to keep being the best, he wants to be the best and that’s what he did.
“He doesn’t need anyone to motivate him, he knows how to do it and how to carry on scoring goals.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 3, 2021
Before players were told of Carrick’s decision to step down, Fernandes hailed the former United midfielder.
Carrick, winner of five Premier League titles and a Champions League crown among other honours during his 12 years as a player in Manchester, made 464 appearances for United between 2006 and 2018 before stepping into coaching.
“Michael can be a really good manager in the future if he gets the chance,” said Fernandes. “He knows how to speak, he knows a lot about football.
“He was one of those great players that not a lot of people talk about but from what I know and what I have seen, he can be a top coach.”