Anthony Martial was the man of the match against Derby in last night’s FA Cup fixture, where United finished 3-1 winners to progress to the fourth round of the competition.
Whilst most of us want to see him used as a central striker, given how effective he was in that position during his opening spell at United, he was constant headache for Derby playing down the left, culminating in his assist for Mata’s late, match-sealing goal.
Here’s Tony M’s game in numbers…
Martial managed 2 shots on target and hit one wide. Some fans wanted to see more clinical finishing, and there was also some surprise that we’d registered a shot on goal quite so quickly.
Martial should be burying that chance. Can’t believe we have actually had a shot on goal so early on in the game. Strange start.
— NM (@ffsRooney) January 29, 2016
Martial created 2 goals for Unitedast night. In the 83rd minute, with United leading 2-1, Martial dribbled to the byline before coolly picking out Mata.
44 of Martial’s 49 attempted passes were made in the opposition half; most in the final third, with 7 passes attempted within the Derby box. 81.3% of his passes were successful, with 4 key passes during the game, including the assist. His passing map shows how he was often hugging the touchline before drifting inside to cause problems for the Derby defence.
Martial attempted 11 dribbles during the game – half of the whole team’s total. 6 of these were successful. No other United player attempted more than 2 dribbles. If he was playing as a conventional striker, this is something we’d lose, as some fans have observed.
Nah Martial is better suited to that inside left, stick him upfront and we lose our only player capable of beating people on the dribble
— Mike (@FootL0ngSchlong) January 29, 2016
Only Smalling and Fellaini registered more touches than Martial in the game. Tony M was constantly involved from start to finish. Whilst Derby right-back Cyrus Christie managed the threat well for much of the game, Martial’s skill was ultimately telling.