Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 800th and 801st career goals as Manchester United defeated Arsenal in a thrilling 3-2 win on Thursday night.
The Gunners got the footballing feast underway in crazy circumstances with Emile Smith Rowe scoring one of the Premier League‘s wildest ever goals while David de Gea was down injured.
With Fred having brought his own goalkeeper down to the ground with a nick on his ankle, Arsenal saw the chance to profit from the unique scenario by firing into an open goal.
Man Utd 3-2 Arsenal
Referee Martin Atkinson eventually gave the goal after a lengthly wait where everyone Googled the laws of the game to work out what on earth they had just witnessed.
However, if anything, the bizarre goal seemed to wake up the hosts with Bruno Fernandes sweeping home an equaliser on 44 minutes to ensure that the spoils were shared at half-time.
Man Utd vs Arsenal Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
And that set the scene for Ronaldo to make footballing history by becoming the first male player to ever surpass 800 goals for club and country. Well, depending on whose statistics you believe.
But the total of 800 strikes is simply undisputed with Ronaldo reminding us all for the umpteenth time that he loves sinking his teeth into a vital goal, clinically finding the corner after the break.
Clearly he’d taught his former Real Madrid teammate Martin Odegaard that very technique, too, because Arsenal fought back with a bottom-corner finish of their own just two minutes later.
Ronaldo makes football history
However, Ronaldo wasn’t satisfied with just moving his tally to 800 goals and extended his historic total to 801 by firing United into the lead for the second time at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’.
Having initially been denied a stonewall penalty by Martin Atkinson, VAR ensured that the Red Devils were given the spot-kick that they deserved for Odegaard’s reckless challenge on Fred.
And with Fernandes having missed last time out against Aston Villa, Ronaldo decisively took the ball and sent Old Trafford into raptures by firing the ball straight down the middle past Aaron Ramsdale.
It proved to be the difference between the two sides with Arsenal’s desperate attempts to salvage an equaliser proving fruitless, duly securing a 3-2 win for the hosts.
Carrick bows out unbeaten
Victory rounded off an unbeaten tenure for Michael Carrick as interim manager with the Red Devils having won at Villarreal and drawn with Chelsea after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal.
Now, Ralf Rangnick will get to work on succeeding the ex-United midfielder as head coach and no doubt Ronaldo’s superlative display will give him plenty of food for thought ahead of the weekend.
They say he doesn’t press. They say he doesn’t suit United’s style. They say he should be dropped. But what better way for Ronaldo to silence those doubts and criticisms than by making history?