Anthony Martial produced a sensational display on the left hand side during Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough in the Premier League.
The Frenchman, making his first start since the 1-1 draw with Everton, was an effervescent force on the flank, constantly looking to burst forward and cause problems.
His 85th minute equaliser – a calm finish past Victor Valdes following a Zlatan Ibrahimovic knock-down – set-up a grandstand finish that saw Paul Pogba head home the winner soon after.
A glance at Martial’s stats shed light on the nature of his performance.
Anthony Martial's game by numbers vs. Middlesbrough:
2 chances created
Electric performance. pic.twitter.com/xBp07X1QFU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 31, 2016
There have been times this season where Martial has looked uncertain of himself, almost like when you can’t remember whether you turned off the oven before you went out. This has been the youngster’s default persona under Mourinho: disengaged and anxious, unable to fully impose himself on the task at hand.
Against Middlesbrough, however, Martial cast the image of a man determined to inflict damage. Any hint of reservation was replaced with sheer ruthlessness, with Callum Chambers enduring a torrid afternoon at right back for the visitors.
The Frenchman was asking questions from the first minute, quickly turning inside and rampaging forward after receiving the ball for the first time. And even in the face of injustice and sheer frustration the 21-year-old continued to charge to the by-line, eventually receiving something in return for his efforts with the side’s crucial equaliser.