Antony is 21st Red to score on PL debut

Monday 05 September 2022 13:00

Antony joined an exclusive list of Manchester United players when he opened his account for the Reds on Sunday, during the 3-1 win over Arsenal.

The Brazilian latched on to Marcus Rashford's pass and curled the ball beyond Aaron Ramsdale to put United a goal up in the first half.

Our new attacker is the 217th player to play for the club in the Premier League but only the 21st to find the net on his first appearance for us in the competition.

That's fitting, as of course he sports the no.21 shirt at United.

Mark Hughes was the first to achieve the feat - although he had been playing top-flight football for us since 1980. He scored in our 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United at the start of the inaugural Premier League season, 1992/93.

Paul Scholes followed up his debut double in the League Cup tie against Port Vale during the 1994/95 season by notching against Ipswich Town but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 1996/97 was the only other Red to net on his Premier League bow during the 1990s. Ruud van Nistelrooy (two v Fulham in 2001) is the next on the list.

Naturally, strikers dominate the roll call - Louis Saha, Giuseppe Rossi, Danny Welbeck and, famously, Federico Macheda - scored on their PL debuts during the 2000s, as did defender Gabriel Heinze, in a 2-2 draw at Bolton in 2004, and winger Chris Eagles: who could forget his strike in our important 4-2 comeback victory at Everton in April 2007?

Two Reds got off the mark in September 2012's 4-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford, with Nick Powell following the example of Alexander Buttner.

That would be Powell's only Premier League strike for us and it was a similar story with Josh Harrop, who notched on his single top-flight appearance in 2016/17, as Jose Mourinho shuffled his side around on the final day against Crystal Palace, ahead of the Europa League final.

James Wilson - an Academy graduate like Harrop - hit two against Hull City towards the end of the 2013/14 season. Other double scorers on their Premier League debuts for United include van Nistelrooy, Marcus Rashford (v Arsenal, in 2015/16) and Romelu Lukaku (v West Ham, 2017/18)

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced himself in the grand manner by scoring from 20 yards out on the opening day of 2016/17, at Bournemouth, and Daniel James did the same three seasons later, netting United's final goal off the bench as we beat Chelsea 4-0.

Finally, Rashford and Antony are joined in the current squad in achieving the feat by Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek.

Martial, of course, produced one of the great debut goals to see off Liverpool in September 2015, while van de Beek's effort came in the opening-day defeat to Crystal Palace in 2020.

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