Manchester United have won their three successive victories by the same starting XI of hard-working, smart and chest-pounding footballers.

But first to a player who started on Thursday night at the King Power Stadium in Leicester as a substitute. The last time Cristiano Ronaldo made three consecutive appearances off the bench was in December 2005, a time so far back when Duncan Ferguson was one of his opponents and Edwin van der Sar a team-mate.

These days, Ferguson is a former two-time Everton interim manager and Van der Sar is the chief executive of Ajax, the club that provides United’s current manager and more than a tenth of his squad.

Ronaldo has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the 17 years since Sir Alex Ferguson thought his nervous prodigy could use some rotation, but the Portuguese’s career arc is finally coming full circle.

The question is whether Ronaldo can respond in the way that would be most helpful to Erik ten Hag for any extended part of the 2022-23 season.

Moreover, the Portugal international has scored seven goals in his last eight games against Arsenal, netting in both matches last season.

In total, he scored nine goals against the north London club, which could become the 20th different opponent against whom he hit double figures in his career for club and country.

So, will Ten Hag ignore his record against Arsenal and leave him on the bench again?