Anthony Martial took advantage of a rare opportunity to play at No.9 with a splendid goal during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Everton on Monday.
The Frenchman, with Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both sidelined through injury, received a chance to start at the masthead of attack for the first time since the 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic almost a year ago.
And he didn’t disappoint, diligently chasing the ball down and probing for space, before eventually receiving a reward for his selflessness with a perfectly placed drive into the top corner after 57 minutes.
Martial’s numbers from the game tell the story of what was an indefatigable display at No.9.
Martial’s game by numbers vs. Everton:
2 chances created
17 final 3rd passes
100% tackles won
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 1, 2018
Supporters were delighted to see Martial finally handed a chance to play as a striker – the role in which he rose to stardom during the early stages of his career – and you can see why.
The Frenchman provided a different dimension to the shape and feel of Man United’s attack, picking up the ball in slightly deeper positions than Lukaku and looking to drive forward with teammates supporting him.
He had to graft for large parts, and didn’t actually see too much of the ball, but when the chance came he was characteristically cool and lethal, guiding home his ninth goal of the season and setting the platform for a much-needed win.