Football

Anthony Martial's overall performance convinced the early doubters

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The 65th minute in the game between Manchester United and Liverpool was a moment in history for Old Trafford. Juan Mata came off, to be replaced by new signing Anthony Martial.

This Liverpool match was Martial's first appearance in the Premier League, and he made his debut at the striker position, playing in front of Ander Herrera and Ashley Young.

The game was Manchester United's to lose with seven minutes on the clock, and then Christian Benteke managed an excellent overhead kick to make the score 2-1 to United. 

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Anthony Martial then responded 90 seconds later. After Liverpool gave up possession, Ashley Young fed Martial 25 yards out on the left hand side. Martial picked up the pass, rounded Martin Skrtel on the edge of the box, and slid the ball past Simon Mignolet in the far corner.

The Next King Henry?

Comparisons to Thierry Henry were in abundance prior to Martial's in-game debut for United. After the goal he scored, even Henry himself (who was in the stands at Old Trafford) was on his feet.

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For a 19-year-old, his pace and power that he displayed when running with the ball was outstanding. The amount of shots Martial had is too small of a sample size to make judgements about his shooting ability, but the composure he displayed when through on goal was impeccable.

Even though the Frenchman's finish was clinical, there were moments when his youth was visible in the match. He was given the ball at the halfway line on the right side of midfield and had a chance to play another United attacker through with a diagonal pass on the counter attack.

Instead, he opted to try and back-heel it through the legs of Dejan Lovren, which resulted in the two dueling for seven seconds and the counter attack breaking down.

Where Martial was supremely effective was on the left flank, running at the Liverpool back line after Nathaniel Clyne had pushed up in attack. One of those moments created the goal, as Martial was allowed to run at Skrtel and make the Slovak look like a schoolboy.

Proven, But Not World-Class Yet

The teenager scored a good goal on Saturday afternoon, but it must be kept in mind that it was against one of the Premier League's leakiest defences. 

Argentine midfielder Manuel Lanzini made the Liverpool defence look like wet paper last match day when The Reds took on West Ham at Anfield. His pace and dribbling made it a nightmare night for Dejan Lovren, who also did not have a good game against Manchester United.

This is clearly another step for Anthony Martial in terms of his footballing career. At the beginning of the saga, he was thought of as an unknown talent with zero quality that United fans had seen before. And now, he has performed in his first appearance in one of the Red Devils' biggest matches and scored the goal that secured three points.

We could have just witnessed the beginning of a great player's career.

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Topics:
Premier League
Manchester United
Football

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