Martial was finally moved into the No.9 position with Wayne Rooney just behind him and he proved to be a threat to the Russian side’s defence. The Frenchman was always looking to get in behind the two centre-backs and tried taking them on whenever possible, providing Man United with some much needed impetus.
However, Martial was eventually replaced by Marouane Fellaini and the crowd let their frustration be heard during the change. Loud boo’s rang around Old Trafford as the 19-year-old made way for his teammate and it was clear that fans did not want their star striker to leave the pitch. It was an indication of how highly United fans rate Martial but he was on the bench to see Rooney score the winner with just over 10 minutes remaining.
United fans were quick to vent their feelings about Martial’s substitution:
Can't believe he's taken Martial off!
— Charlotte Cork (@CharlotteCork) November 3, 2015
Martial off for Fellaini. We've reach peak van Gaal.
— Eli (@its3li) November 3, 2015
Surprised by substitution. Not that Fellaini has come on but that Martial has gone off. Strange one.
— Danny Higginbotham (@Higginbotham05) November 3, 2015
Boos ring out at OT as Martial is replaced by Fellaini
— Paul Hirst (@hirstclass) November 3, 2015
We subbed off Martial to move Rooney up top. It really is insanity
— Sarah Horrocks (@mercurialblonde) November 3, 2015
Yet again, United struggled to break the deadlock for a long period of time and Martial seemed like the only one in a red shirt who could make something happen. Despite it not being his best game since moving to England, he was still dangerous for the duration of time he was on the pitch. His impressive form continued and he will be delighted that Rooney has found his scoring boots again as well.
Martial has looked like United’s only hope at times this season when the team have been struggling to break their opposition down and, even thought that wasn’t the case against CSKA, it was clear how vital he is to the team. His desire to take on defenders and drive straight for goal is exactly what United fans want to see and there is no doubt he has the ability to impress them for years to come.