Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to earn a recall to the Manchester United starting line-up for Thursday night’s Premier League clash against Arsenal.
With the club still resolving work visa details with the new interim manager Ralf Rangnick, caretaker manager Michael Carrick will take charge of his first game at Old Trafford.
It will be interesting to see whether Carrick decides to start his former team mate against Mikel Arteta’s side, after dropping him against Chelsea on Sunday.
With 10 goals from 13 starts this season, Ronaldo will be eager to show Rangnick that he can still be an asset to this Manchester United team, at the age of 36.
But what does Cristiano Ronaldo’s record against Arsenal look like, during the course of his career.
Highs and lows for Ronaldo against Arsenal
When the Portuguese wonderkid joined United for the first time in 2003 from Sporting Lisbon, he was coming up against one of the world’s best left-backs in Ashley Cole, every time we played Arsenal.
He was also playing his part in a heated rivalry between the two sides, which was heightened by a mutual hatred by the club’s two captains, Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane.
On the night, in February 2005, where there was a bust up between Vieira and Keane in the tunnel at Highbury, United went on to win 4-2 with Ronaldo scoring two goals in the space of four minutes, to give United the lead from 2-1 down.
John O’Shea secured a famous three points with a deft left-footed chip over Manuel Almunia.
Three months later, Ronaldo played the full 120 minutes and scored a penalty in the shootout defeat against Arsene Wenger’s side, in the 2005 FA Cup final.
But in the 2007/08 season, where we went on to win a Premier League and Champions League double, Ronaldo scored in both of the league matches.
However, Ronaldo’s most famous display against Arsenal came at the Emirates Stadium, in the 2009 Champions League semi-final second leg.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner deceived Almunia with a wicked free-kick, not far from the right touchline, to double United’s lead on the night and all but assure our place in the final.
On the hour mark, Ronaldo linked up with Park Ji-sung and Wayne Rooney to devastating effect, as we ripped Arsenal apart on the counter.
Rooney slipped the ball across to our number seven, who smashed the ball past Almunia once again.
Ronaldo’s last game against the Gunners, which came in May 2009, saw him lift his third Premier League title, alongside Carrick, as United secured the point they needed in a 0-0 draw.
In 15 matches against Arsenal, Ronaldo has won seven, lost four and drawn on four occasions. During his time as a player at Real Madrid and Juventus, Ronaldo never faced the former Premier League champions.
In those games, he has scored six goals and made two assists.
Let’s hope come Thursday night, Ronaldo has scored his first Premier League goal against the north London side in 13 years.
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