Manchester Utd moved to within two points of fourth place on Wednesday after comfortably defeating Sheffield Utd 3-0, with Anthony Martial scoring an excellent hat-trick.
What was Martial's overall display like?
📷 Match Snapshot
Unlike on some occasions when he has been deployed on the left, the former Martial played most of the match as a straight-up No. 9, moving between the goalposts and getting on the end of the crosses.
It was via two crosses that he scored his first two goals.
⚽ ⏱️ 7' Marcus Rashford displays a burst of pace to hit the line before smashing a low delivery to the front post, where Martial darts ahead of his marker to slide a finish into the bottom corner.
⚽ ⏱️ 44' Aaron Wan-Bissaka was the provider for the second, as he gains a yard on the Sheffield Utd defender before sending another low cross into the centre. This time, the Frenchman is perfectly positioned to emphatically guide a strike home into the back of the net.
He wasn't simply on-hand to finish chances, though, as he completed 24/26 passes, and really should have gained an assist, too, if not for Rashford missing an open goal.
His 11 touches inside the opposition box were more than anyone in this round of fixtures.
⚽ ⏱️ 74' The best goal was still to come, and it was the one which earned him his first senior hat-trick. After sliding a pass to Rashford he sprints into the penalty area to receive the excellent return pass, which allows him to dink a cheeky finish over the oncoming goalkeeper.
〽️ Rating Week-on-Week
Martial played 78 minutes against Tottenham last Friday in the hard-fought 1-1 draw, but didn't make much of an impact and earned a 5.7 FC Rating.
Safe to say the improvement to the Sheffield Utd match was significant, as he scored his perfect 10 FC Rating.
🗝️ Key Stats
Martial match stats
|FC Rating||10||🏆 FC Man of the Match|
|Touches In Box||11||Rank #1|
The last couple of games have been a classic tale of two Anthony Martials.
Against Spurs he struggled for space and to get into the game, whereas against Sheffield Utd he terrorised the opposition defence with his pace and movement.
If he can continue with performances like this, and with Rashford improving, too, United are in with a good shout of making the top four. Next up for the Red Devils is an away trip to Norwich.