Jose Mourinho has reacted to Anthony Martial‘s scintillating display during Manchester United’s 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, hailing the Frenchman’s contribution to his side’s hammering of the Russian side.
The Frenchman, rested over the weekend, supplied an inch-perfect ball for Romelu Lukaku after just four minutes before adding his fifth of the season from the spot 14 minutes later.
He continued to terrorise the hosts with a series of penetrating runs from the left hand side and registered another assist for Lukaku just before half time.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, was quick to heap praise on the way Martial ran riot in Moscow.
“The game adapted to his qualities, he had lots of freedom, support, quality around him and I’m happy with him, a goal is always important but his contribution was great,” he said.
As Martial took the ball in his hands, strolled towards the spot, put the ball down, and focused his menacing glare on Igor Akinfeev, you could see it: the Frenchman has never before looked so confident in a United shirt.
That he would score – and not just score, but indeed nonchalantly slide the ball the other way of Akinfeev with an almost arrogant level of assurance – was never a doubt.
He is fast emerging as United’s designated silent killer. Other attacking players offer more power and thrust, perhaps, but nobody can replicate the tranquil sense of precision inherent in Martial’s approach.
Unlike last season, you just trust him to make an impact when presented with even half a chance, and nobody appears to have discovered a way of stopping him.