The Portuguese boss told Martial to find the space behind main striker Romelu Lukaku, the Frenchman revealed after the game.
It was Martial’s fourth goal off the substitutes bench this season, as he replaced Marcus Rashford with 20 minutes remaining.
“Yes, the manager told me to find the space,” Martial told Sky Sports. “And I know Lukaku is good with his head and I found the space and I scored.”
Martial’s impact in the title race, let alone this game, is vital. This win will propel Man United back into the race after a shock 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town last weekend.
The Reds needed a momentum boost going into next week’s trip to Premier League champions Chelsea, and Martial provided that with an 81st-minute winner.
The 21-year-old has now scored as many goals this season in the Premier League after just 262 minutes (4 goals) as he did last season in 1559 minutes.
His form off the bench has been superb, and he’s the only United player to score in a ‘big’ game, against top six opposition, this season.
Whether his contribution on Saturday afternoon is enough to promote him above Marcus Rashford to start for United next week against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is yet to be seen.
The Reds regain some ground temporarily on Manchester City, and firmly put themselves and City as the top two, stretching their lead over Tottenham, who are third, to three points.