Alan Pardew admits Crystal Palace’s target was to stop Manchester United’s Anthony Martial

by Harry Robinson

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew says he instructed his side to stop Anthony Martial in an attempt to nullify Manchester United’s creativity.

Palace effectively did so, holding Man United out for the whole game in the Reds’ third consecutive 0-0 draw. Pardew feels the reason his side could stop United was because they targeted summer signing Martial and didn’t allow him any space on the ball.

Speaking to reporters after the goalless deadlock, Pardew said: “We didn’t give Martial an inch, not an inch.

“It was a big target for us to stop him and we felt that if we could stop him we could stop their creative angle.”

Despite already playing a vital role for Louis van Gaal, Martial is just 19 and still has at least five years ahead of him to develop more. It is quite some achievement to have settled in at United so quickly, and Pardew certainly thinks so.

He added: “When you take into account his age, that’s some recommendation.

“I have to say that he’s an impressive young player. I think he handled himself very well today, because he would have felt our presence around him, and still he had moments in the game.

“With such a young player, he’ll have to be very, very careful, the Manchester United manager, to keep his exuberance there. Because we’re all looking to stop him.”

Martial clearly has great talent and a composure, not allowing the pressure of the club and his huge price tag to affect him.

However, can Gaal must be careful not to cause him to burn out. He has played a part in every single game since his memorable debut, as well as featuring twice for France.

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