Anthony Martial continued his superb form at Manchester United with a lethal display going forward during the 3-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday.
The Frenchman, making his fifth successive start under Jose Mourinho, produced a truly sublime assist for Jesse Lingard after 11 minutes, somehow receiving the ball and working it into his teammate’s path in one swift movement.
And he continued to harass Arsenal’s back four on the break with a series of enterprising dribbles, alongside putting himself on the line when the hosts had the ball.
Martial’s numbers from the victory at the Emirates tell the story of what was yet another dazzling display going forward.
Martial's game by numbers vs. Arsenal:
2 chances created
90% pass accuracy
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 2, 2017
The 21-year-old has always expressed a preference for playing centrally and you can see why. Because for all of the joy and destruction that comes from Martial’s bursts on the left hand side, the intricacy and coolness with which he handles the ball is what truly sets him apart from players of his age.
That assist was a perfect example. Martial has the brain to ghost into unnoticed gaps before producing a quick yet crucial moment of technical brilliance that opens up a back four, relying on what you can tell are an array of skills borne more out of raw talent than graft.
Combine that with the superb – and often unhighlighted – discipline Martial showed in defence and difference from last season could not be more pronounced.