Manchester United star Anthony Martial defied his critics by putting in what some called a man-of-the-match performance vs Manchester City.
Heavy pressure was on the team as well as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after their dip in form saw them get uncomfortably close to being drawn into a top-four battle.
Martial himself was also under pressure as he continues to suffer from a strange season that has seen him dropped plenty of times.
The talented Frenchman was United’s top goalscorer last year but this year he has lost his shooting boots and was the attacker that was the most expendable.
With Edinson Cavani ruled out of the Manchester derby due to an injury, Martial passed a late fitness test to be selected and starred in the crucial 2-0 victory.
Anthony Martial’s game by numbers vs. Man City:
95% pass accuracy
4 attempted take-ons
3 successful take-ons
3 shots [2 on target]
2 ball recoveries
2 fouls suffered
1 penalty won
Outstanding. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/43sbdTra6U
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 7, 2021
Martial winning a penalty so quickly after kickoff pretty much set the tone for Manchester United and allowed them to play they did successfully.
Solskjaer’s men weren’t massively defensive in the way they may have been in the past but they did concede possession often to Manchester City.
However, they didn’t have to worry too often as they already had a 1-0 lead thanks to Bruno Fernandes converting the aforementioned penalty.
That lead meant United could on in the second half and score on the counter-attack through a brilliant Luke Shaw who rivalled Martial for the man of the match award.