Martial reaping rewards for hard work
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Anthony Martial’s hat-trick against Sheffield United is just desserts for the commitment he’s been putting in on the training ground.
The Frenchman netted all three goals in our comfortable victory over the Blades, to take his overall tally to 19 for this season.
He’s now level with Marcus Rashford as our leading goalscorer in all competitions, and has topped his previous best for the Reds, which was 17 strikes in his debut 2015/16 campaign.
Solskjaer's verdict on United's red-hot victoryVideo
Martial’s first and second goals in particular, both first-time finishes at the near post to take advantage of driven crosses from the right, were the type of efforts Ole has been wanting to see more of – with the Norwegian obviously a master of the close-range finish during his playing days.
The manager was also impressed with how the 24-year-old has led the Reds’ efforts to win the ball back high up the pitch since the Premier League’s restart.
“I’m very pleased with Anthony’s development and he knows that we want him to do well and we work with him and the forwards all the time on finishing,” Solskjaer told club media after the final whistle.
“Today, he got the rewards for the hard work he’s put in. His pressing goes unnoticed.
“I think, today, he was exceptional and, at Tottenham, the pressing he showed from the front was really good, so I’m very happy.”
Martial was the overwhelming winner of United’s Man-of-the-Match award, taking home a whopping 86 per cent of the vote on the Official App.
While the sumptuous third – a delicate chip over visiting goalkeeper Simon Moore, after a measured one-two between him and Rashford – was Martial’s favourite from his treble, he also recognised the importance of being in the right place at the right time for both of his first-half efforts.
Martial reacts to his first United hat-trickVideo
“The last one, I think the last one [was my preferred goal]. It was a very good goal,” the Frenchman said.
“The first two were two good goals, like a real number nine and I know the manager is happy for these to go in. He was happy.”
Anthony’s treble means that he’s now scored seven Premier League goals in 2020 – behind only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who extended his tally to eight for the year during Wednesday night’s match against Crystal Palace.
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