Anthony Martial produces scintillating display against Burnley

by Leo Nieboer

Anthony Martial produced a truly mesmerising performance during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Burnley in the Premier League.

The Frenchman was handed a rare chance to feature at No.9 by Jose Mourinho in light of Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s knee injury and the Portuguese’s decision to hand Marcus Rashford a rest.

And he duly delivered, crowning a mazy, effervescent display with a sumptuous goal in the 21st minute and an assist for Wayne Rooney just before half time.

His numbers from the game illustrate just how influential he was up against Michael Keane and Ben Mee.

One cannot help but feel as if Mourinho, in response to Zlatan’s injury, was using this game as a means of testing Martial – to see whether the Frenchman, when given the chance to lead the line, could deliver when it mattered.

This was, in many ways, an audition for Martial: an audition for the next few weeks and perhaps even for his career at Old Trafford as a whole.

And it was an audition Martial passed with flying colours. He was a bubbling, thriving force at the masthead of attack, always looking to sniff out space to exploit with his raw, unyielding pace, leaving Burnley’s spine – Joey Barton especially – breathless and defeated.

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