Manchester United were able to make it four in four as they defeated fellow English rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in Shanghai. This is their second win in the International Champions Cup following the goal-fests in Perth.
Anthony Martial opened the scoring for the Red Devils in the first-half while Spurs were able to respond via a well-placed goal from Lucas Moura in the second-half.
It all came down to the creativity of academy graduate Angel Gomes who was able to inch in a splendid goal to win the game for United.
Much has been said about Anthony Martial who will simply be elated to have scored during the game. The Frenchman was able to secure a long-term extension to his contract last campaign but has looked quite unsure since then.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer elected to deploy him as the no.9 against Spurs and that made a world of difference. While it certainly wasn’t his impressive run-ins from the wings that caught the supporters’ eyes, his clinical presence in the middle was definitely a welcome sight.
The former Monaco man ought to have scored twice during the opening minutes itself and benefited immensely from the contributions of Daniel James on the left-wing.
His impact was in sharp contrast to that of Romelu Lukaku, as the Belgian’s infamous immobility was put to shame by the fluid manner in which Martial posed a threat up-front.
Fans were delighted at this change and made their joy known on social media.
If Romelu leaves this summer, give Martial the 9 back. #mufc
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) July 25, 2019
If Martial is playing up front and has learnt it’s beneficial to make runs in behind… its over for the Prem
— Scotty Tridge (@ScottTridge) July 25, 2019
Loving this Anthony Martial in pre-season. He's looking considerably fitter shutting down players and winning the ball back and looks way more comfortable as a striker than out wide with his great runs in behind and is always an option in possession!
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) July 25, 2019
Anyone with half a brain would build that team around martial chaps a class act
— Evan O'Rafferty (@EvanORafferty2) July 25, 2019
The rest of the EPL doesn’t want to see Martial back in the 9. They know they wouldn’t be able to handle him
— Mattlantic (@_MatthewT) July 25, 2019
Further, it was no surprise that the Frenchman was named the man of the match after the game.
Fans will now be hoping that Solskjaer makes more use of him in this spot and permits him to thrive.
This also begs the point that United may not require an additional striker arrival in the event of Lukaku’s departure. With Mason Greenwood’s impeccable form, Marcus Rashford’s confidence and now Martial’s new-found mojo, the Norwegian already has a plethora of options to choose from.