Twitter users voted Anthony Martial for Manchester United’s Man of the Match Award, after his amazing performance and goal against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. He came in as a substitute to grab the wonder goal thanks to coach Jose Mourinho’s pep talk.
Marcus Rashford was subbed for Martial after 70 minutes, and the Frenchman scored from Romelu Lukaku’s cross after 11 minutes.
Image: Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba
Martial, 21, has been a super-sub this season and his goal against Spurs wasn’t the first time he shone against opponents. He scored against Swansea City, West Ham United and Everton in recent weeks.
In the online poll which was organized by MUTV hosts, Martial got 53%, Ashley Young (40%), and Phil Jones, who was voted third, got only 7% of the total votes cast.
“The manager told me to find the space and I know Lukaku is good with his head so I found the space and I scored, so I am happy,” he revealed in a post-match interview.
“It’s an important result for us because we lost the last league game [against Huddersfield]. It was important for us to win and I’m happy to score and I hope we win again at home to Benfica.”
Mourinho also spoke with MUTV and showered praise on Martial, however, stressing that sometimes he starts the match but makes less contributions.
“…Martial doesn’t score like he does when coming from the bench,” the former Real Madrid and Chelsea coach explained.
“He plays in the same position as Marcus [Rashford], but is more comfortable than Marcus dropping in between the lines to help drive the ball and not just attack space,” the 54-year-old continued.
“I told him to do that and to play off Lukaku against three very good central defenders that had a hard match for 60 or 70 minutes against Lukaku and Rashford.
Image shows Anthony Martian (center) in action against Watford.
“[It was] maybe a lucky shot, but the moment, his desire is good and the goal gives us two more points than 0-0… Today we had two strikers playing together against three top central defenders – the best we have in Europe. They had to do the defensive job of pressing them coming out with the ball, which they do really well, because they have big routines of playing with three at the back. And on top of that they gave us solutions to get out of the pressure, to find depth, to win first balls, to press seconds. Then Martial scores with a bad shot, but a bad shot can sometimes be a beautiful one.”
The Special One said he would have felt the same way if the final score was 0-0 or 1-1 because his players gave everything for victory.
In his words: “…Every ball was like the most important ball of their career. The focus and concentration was there against a quality team. We played well. To play well against a very good team feels even better.”
Manchester United is second on the Premier League table with 23 points while Manchester City leads with 28 points. Tottenham Hotspur are #3 with 20 points.
Mourinho and his team will face his former club Chelsea in their next EPL match coming up on Sunday 5 November.