Manchester United ended their two-game winless run in the Premier League with a 3-2 victory over Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United. The result was in the hosts favour but the nature of the performance wasn’t much different than their last two stalemates.
Marcus Rashford did fire in a low finish past the Magpies goalkeeper to open the scoring, but Daniel James was the only United player who didn’t look affected by a mid-week European trip. The tired Red Devils struggled against Newcastle’s energetic pressing in the first-half.
Anthony Martial, who was on the bench against Real Socieded, wasn’t up to his expected levels either, as he finished another game without any goal contribution. Incidentallly, United’s attack became more lively after Mason Greenwood introduction in place of the French striker in the 70th minute.
Martial’s quiet evening against the relegation strugglers could’ve been excused due to the Europe League commitment. However, this has been the case for the most part of the season.
According to Newcastle legend Alan Shearer, the reason behind such displays is a lack of desire from the 25-year-old.
“Only four leagues goals this season, not enough movement, he’s certainly not desperate enough to score goals,” he said on Match of the Day 2.
“He spends far too much time in these positions, when they need to have someone in the box.
“There’s no focal point, there’s no one there to hold the ball up. He should realise he should get out of there and get into the box.”
The former Monaco man, who featured on the flanks under both Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, was trusted with his preferred role in the middle by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Shearer believes the Frenchman’s numbers “have to be a lot better” if he wants to cement his status as the first-choice striker at the Theatre of Dreams.