The youngster played alongside Wayne Rooney in a front two while Louis van Gaal reverted to a five at the back system once again. The pair struggled for service and were often isolated when they did get on the ball. It was a typically negative performance from this Man United team and the forwards are the ones that suffer most.
Martial did not have many opportunities to try get in behind the Southampton defence and cut a frustrated figure for the majority of the game. Many fans were disappointed with his display but did not lay the blame solely on him:
Martial is becoming ineffective something needs to change with him
— #M7 (@mrsdepay_) January 23, 2016
Martial is a waste out wide. Needs to be playing 9, Rooney/Mata at 10. Can't have both in the same team. Lingard is overrated. Depay shit.
— Azeem Banatwalla (@TheBanat) January 23, 2016
I feel sorry for martial the wrong manager is managing him.
— Sexy Gangster (@Iamcarlogambino) January 23, 2016
Much better from MUFC. Mata, Rooney and Martial leading the charge. Wonder whether there were heated words in the dressing room again at HT
— Paul Hirst (@hirstclass) January 23, 2016
Its like we are playing with 5 men.. Rooney, Schneirderlin, Lingard, Fellaini, Martial and Herrera have all gone missing…
— Quality MUFC Videos (@aditya_reds) January 23, 2016
United and Martial will now have to bounce back ahead of their trip to face Championship side Derby County in the FA Cup on Friday. A similar performance to the one against Southampton could see the chances of silverware slip away, given the dire nature of the showing by the players.
Many are blaming Louis van Gaal‘s tactics and it is hard to disagree given the way United have played in their last two games. The Reds were fortunate to get a win against Liverpool last week but were punished for another poor performance against the Saints, one even Martial could not overturn.