Martial reveals penalty challenge

Wednesday 21 December 2022 14:25

Anthony Martial has revealed he decided to take a 'Panenka' penalty in Spain after being challenged to do so by his team-mates during training.

The cheeky spot-kick technique is named after Antonin Panenka, who scored the winner for Czechoslovakia in the 1976 European Championship final shootout in such impudent fashion.

We haven't seen too many instances of it at United but our no.9 used it to good effect in the friendly against Cadiz recently. Martial has scored the only penalty we've been awarded in the Premier League this season, at Manchester City, and will, no doubt, be confident if stepping up again after the resumption of domestic action.

“I’ve executed quite a few during training and people have always said: ‘Well, you’re not going to do that during a match’," he told United Daily. "So I said: ‘Well, yes I am’, and then the chance arose and I took it and I scored.

"It all depends [on my technique]. Sometimes, I can wait. Sometimes, well it just depends how I decide to take the penalty."

Martial admitted it took some bottle for Achraf Hakimi to net the winning spot-kick in Morocco's famous World Cup shootout victory over Spain at the World Cup finals, given the pressure of the situation.

“For sure, yes, with Morocco going so far in the competition, and for the first time, so to do one at that moment, really takes a lot of confidence," he added. "So hats off to him."

Martial feels the stay in Spain and extra work at Carrington during the hiatus has been of particular benefit to him, as he looks to be in top shape for the challenges that lie ahead over the festive period and beyond.

Erik ten Hag will hope the careful planning and preparation will enable the Reds to overcome Championship leaders Burnley in the Carabao Cup fourth round at Old Trafford tonight (Wednesday), before our Premier League programme resumes with the visit of Nottingham Forest on 27 December.

Anthony Martial scored this cheeky penalty in the friendly against Cadiz.

The temperatures may have been chilly at Carrington but the striker believes the endeavour will pay off, especially as he looks for a run of games, in order to continue his impressive scoring stats in 2022/23.

“We’ve put in a lot of good work and it has been a bit like a pre-season for us," he explained. "We’ve worked on fitness training and getting into top-shape physically, and I’ve benefited from that a lot personally.”

Martial, with four, is behind only Marcus Rashford (eight) in terms of goals for United this season, despite making only three starts and spending 292 minutes on the pitch.