Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has criticised Anthony Martial for almost costing Manchester United a goal during their 0-0 draw with Manchester City.
The Frenchman, deployed on the left-hand side, failed to track the run of Pablo Zabaleta that led to a narrow miss from Sergio Aguero in the first half.
He was primarily resorted to helping out Matteo Darmian in defence as Raheem Sterling and Zabaleta continued to apply pressure on the hosts.
And Henry, speaking on Sky Sports, was quick to point a finger in Martial’s direction for almost gifting an opener to Pep Guardiola’s side.
“The man at the top of the screen Martial not doing his job,” he said. “You can see they are in the possession and he’s not doing his job following Zabaleta.”
“He’s not even at it. He should win that, at least try to win it. He didn’t and what a ball from De Bruyne.
“You would back him (Aguero) to put that in the back of the net, usually he does especially in games like this. Martial had to do way more than that. It could have been 1-0.”
The passage in play in question was indeed reflective of the lackadaisical nature that can often creep into the 20-year-old’s game. He simply lets Zabaleta, with space to run into, drive forward and zip a pin-point ball to Aguero that, nine times out of ten, would have been converted.
Such a moment, however, was not reflective of how Martial conducted himself at the Ethiad. He did a superb job when it came to tracking back and flushing out any space left by the occasionally overwhelmed Darmian. Very rarely has the youngster been asked to perform this kind of role but – following a dedicated performance against Burnley – he deserves credit for the grit he displayed.