Manchester United managed to avoid being knocked out by lower league opposition and have qualified for the fourth round of the FA Cup after beating Wigan Athletic at home. It was a match that saw the return of Warren Joyce, who left Manchester United’s under-23 setup to become the manager of Wigan Athletic. The away side have had recent success in this competition, but they won’t be overly disappointed at having exited at this stage as their main focus will be on Premier League survival. Here’s three things that we learnt…
Anthony Martial proved why he should be considered a left winger
The Frenchman has been a striker for the majority of his career, but if he is to succeed at the highest level, he may need to accept that he is more effective on the wing. He was provided with an opportunity to start in a central position today and he struggled to impose himself on the game. There were plenty of runs made and his movement was okay, but he struggled to hold onto the ball and he was easily dealt with by the Wigan centre backs. However, he showed his class in the second half, after being moved to a wide role.
Martial was one of the best players on the pitch, but it wasn’t until he was changed to a wide position that he made his quality count. He managed to get the assists for the second and third goals, displaying good awareness for both of them. This highlights the creative spark that he possesses and it is somewhat dimmed when he plays as a striker. His best asset is his ability to run with the ball, beating opposition defenders with pace and skill. That is better utilised against full backs than centre-backs and this performance underlined why he has mainly been used out wide since moving to Manchester.