If Anthony Martial‘s performance against Watford at the weekend filled Manchester United fans with hope that he’s back in form, tonight’s showing at home to St. Etienne proved emphatically that he’s back.
Martial twisted the blood of St. Etienne’s defenders almost every time he got the ball at his feet. They couldn’t control him, they couldn’t stop him. When he was substituted, Martial got a standing ovation from the home fans at Old Trafford and a chorus of boos from the away end – there’s no better sign of a good game than that.
He was magnificent; watching Martial run at defenders with pace and confidence really is a sight to behold and something he did very well was showing a defender inside before running on the outside to use his left foot. It’s exactly what Gary Neville said he needed to improve, there you go then Gary – how’s about that?
Martial's game by numbers vs. St. Etienne:
1 key pass
83% dribbles completed
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 16, 2017
Every time Martial got the ball at his feet, you could hear Old Trafford take in a collective breath of anticipation. He’s that sort of player which creates excitement and after some tough recent weeks at United, it was a wonderful performance from Martial which built on how he played against Watford. Two games in a row now he’s arguably been man of the match.
More importantly I feel was the fact Henrikh Mkhitaryan didn’t play tonight because Jose Mourinho would have wanted Martial to step up and replace his attacking verve. He did that and more. Heading forward, it looks like Martial could be hitting form at a crucial time for United, get in.