Anthony Martial produced a scintillating attacking display up front during Manchester United’s 4-2 win over Watford on Tuesday in the Premier League.
The Frenchman, deployed alongside Romelu Lukaku as Jose Mourinho used a back three, tormented Watford’s back four in the first half with some superb moments on the ball.
And his crowning moment came in the 32nd minute after he received Lukaku’s flick-on perfectly and sent a laser-guided drive past Heurelho Gomes.
Martial’s numbers from the game tell the story of what was another penetrative display going forward.
Martial's game by numbers vs. Watford:
50% chance converson
50% dribbles completed
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 28, 2017
The contrast from last season couldn’t be more pronounced. Martial has already matched the number of goals he mustered in Jose Mourinho’s opening campaign but you only have to glance at his demeanour on the pitch to see the difference.
He looks settled, above anything: always lurking in an ominous position, waiting for his moment patiently, before springing into life with a decisive blow, this time taking just two touches – both outside the box – to leave Watford’s defence on the floor.
When Martial is focused – unlike last year – and enters that special groove on the ball, you wouldn’t bank on any defender stopping him. Mourinho should know by now that the 21-year-old is simply too good to leave out of the starting XI.