Manchester United needed a response from their players after their tame defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur and unconvincing victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
It was the worst possible start from them on Saturday as they went two goals down in the opening three minutes of the game due to a terrible defensive shape from set-pieces.
But the players did not let their heads drop and kept plugging away and ultimately Erik ten Hag’s decision to play the team that served him so well last season paid off.
Rashford excelled down the left
Marcus Rashford, restored to his favourite left-wing position, proved to be the game-changer for the Red Devils, registering an assist and winning the penalty that led to the winning goal.
He had come under immense pressure after failing to do anything of note in the opening two games, but with Anthony Martial fit enough to start, Rashford finally got the chance to play where he is most comfortable.
The Mancunian was much more involved, playing double the passes compared to his first two displays, while he had many more touches of the ball in dangerous areas.
Against Wolves, the 25-year-old had 38 touches and attempted 15 passes, while against Spurs, he had 34 touches and attempted only 16 passes.
On Saturday at Old Trafford, Rashford had 52 touches, attempted 34 passes, and produced two key passes as well.
He was direct and positive and whenever he got the ball, he ran at the defensively-suspect Serge Aurier and successfully dribbled past the opposition full-back twice out of three times.
ETH should keep him there vs Arsenal
His neat change of pace in the first half was what led to the opening goal while his turn and skill bamboozled Danilo, which ultimately led to United winning the penalty.
There are still areas that he needs to improve on, especially when it comes to competing for 50-50 balls. The forward won only three out of 11 ground duels and only one out of three aerial duels.
But with the player himself admitting that he plays much better off the left, Ten Hag should try and maximise his effectiveness to the fullest.
Against Arsenal, Ten Hag should stick with the same personnel and especially keep the England international out wide instead of playing him up front on his own.