Anthony Martial was the key behind Manchester United’s victory over Burnley at Turf Moor this weekend. Grabbing the opener in his side’s 2-0 success, before assisting Wayne Rooney’s second, this was the first time in his Red Devils career, to date, that the Frenchman has both scored and assisted a goal in a Premier League away game
Following recent comments by Jose Mourinho, as reported by Goal, suggesting Martial must adapt to thrive at Old Trafford, this was the perfect return to first team action for the 21-year-old. Prior to Sunday’s win in Lancashire, the former Monaco wonderkind had completed 90 minutes just three times in the Premier League under the club’s Portuguese head coach.
Nonetheless, injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic provided Martial with the opportunity to play against the Clarets, and the Frenchman’s display proved a breath of fresh air. With pace and flair on the agenda, the Red Devils were able to attack a typically stubborn Burnley outfit with a very different threat to that which they usually pose. And, as Martial’s achievement suggests, he was involved in both of his side’s goals on the day.
Martial has scored eight times for United this season but the Burnley strike was just his fourth in the Premier League. Seemingly liberated in a central role, and having netted his first goal since February against the Clarets, this could be the confidence boost that the 21-year-old needed to push on over United’s final eight (potentially nine) games of the season.
Following his involvement in victory over Burnley, Mourinho was full or praise for his rejuvenated French striker, as quotes published by The Guardian suggest: “Yes, it was very good. With the ball, without the ball, in the middle of two strong central midfielders, without anyone behind him because we had no No.10.”
With question marks surrounding Ibrahimovic’s future – with the Swede’s contract set to expire this summer – we could see the establishment of a new order at Old Trafford. Martial’s impressive display at Turf Moor will have gone some way to proving to Jose Mourinho that the Frenchman is ready to fight for his place at Manchester United. Fans will be hoping he is now given further opportunity to impress.
At just 21 years of age, expect plenty more goals and assists from the future Red Devils star.
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