Cometh the 86th minute: The Beginning of Anthony Martial

Cometh the 86th minute, Ashley young released United’s number 9 and Skrtel was made to look like an amateur defender. Out from the flanks, inside the box, a dribble, cutting back in and bang into the goal! A moment every debutant striker must have cherished was witnessed by us last weekend.

Martin Tyler went completely berserk in his commentary box in the moment of ecstasy going., “Oh yessssssss, Welcome to Manchester United! Anthony Martiaaaaaal” and the screening center I was in erupted as Manchester United answered their bitter rivals in style.

Considered as Louis Van Gaal’s panic buy with Manchester United paying Monaco a huge fee of money, the hefty price tag heaps pressure on the young Frenchman to succeed instantly. The 19-year-old is an exciting prospect in the attack, noted that he has scored more goals (nine) than any other teenagers in Europe’s top five leagues since the beginning of last season. Anthony Martial had been rapidly rising through the levels for his country, scoring with aplomb and coming runners up in 2013’s U-19 European Championship. Already capped a dozen times for the U-21s, despite his age, international football was giving the youngster the much-needed chance to express himself.

Decoding Anthony Martial’s performance against Liverpool

Rated as the toughest of all battles in the Premier League history, it was always a high-pressure game to play in. The build-up this time had a different aura about it considering that both teams are in the transition phase and a loss is as good as a failure for either manager. With Manchester United missing Wayne Rooney, it was a well-known fact that Fellaini would start and Anthony Martial would surely be introduced in the latter half of the game. To be honest about the discussion with fellow United fans, I must admit that I was wrong when I said: “It’s a big game and it’s too early to put him in such a high-pressure game and a game of such enormous importance.” But Anthony Martial silenced all critics with a cool, calm and a promising finish. He has a long way to go as the gaffer said: “He is 19 and he will take the time to settle in.”

Anthony Martial is blessed with incredible acceleration and dribbling capability which we saw a glimpse of. He is not your workhorse but he covered a significant amount of pitch in that 28 min cameo. His pace out-performed experienced players like Lovren and Skrtel and the wonder goal made the social media go gaga.

Anthony Martial vs. Liverpool
Minutes Played 26
Touches 10
Passes 6
Pass Success 83%
Goals (Shots) 1 (1)

What makes Anthony Martial Special?

What makes Anthony Martial Special is his ability to find spaces. What Anthony Martial was a piece out of what his predecessor Thierry Henry would have done and has done in this league countless times. Martial was in the center marked by Skrtel and as soon as Young received the ball, Martial dragged Skrtel off his position and made him follow. As Young released the ball on the line, Martial didn’t need the invitation to take on a hapless Skrtel and Lovren (who looked like Vidic at the saints thanks to Morgan Schneiderlin).

People who have grown up watching Premier League might have heard a very famous line by Jim Beglin “1 Man 1 Shot and inevitable result” and it was Thierry Henry, the man behind the words. Martial might have a stance and style similar to the French genius but what makes Henry special is his ability to drive the game and his intelligence. You don’t see Thierry Henry Clueless on the football pitch though he has made a lot of them clueless. And Anthony Martial has to adapt and sink into this attention.

Yes, he is a prospect and he scored on debut at a crucial moment and at a big stage so did Kiko Macheda. Martial has to be patient and as another promising youngster and one of the best in his age group Luke Shaw, his fellow teammate at United advised “I know Anthony might find it a bit tough with everything that’s going on with social media. We have great people at the club in terms of staff and players. We will all welcome him very well. He is a young player with a lot of potential. Hopefully, we can help him.”

And hopefully, he delivers.

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