On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, French international, Anthony Martial, scored his first career hat-trick for Manchester United in their 3-0 win over 7th placed Sheffield United in Old Trafford. He became the first Manchester United player to score a hat-trick in 7 years. The last time the Red Devils had a player that scored a hat-trick in a match was in April 2013 when Robin van Persie scored three goals against Aston Villa.
Anthony Martial’s first goal in the match came in the 7th minute of the first half, marking Sheffield United‘s worst start in a Premier League match this season. The Frenchman tactically converted a low pass from England international Marcus Rashford near the goal post by stretching his leg to deflect the ball into the net. The goal put the host ahead but couldn’t force Sheffield United out to fight for an equalizer as United were completely in control of the match.
Unfortunately for Sheffield, they were without their first-choice goalkeeper, Dean Henderson because he was not permitted to play against his parent club as he is on loan at Sheffield from United. The club was also without their first-choice players John Egan who is still serving his suspension, and Jack O’Connell who has been out with an injury.
When the visitors thought they would run away trailing with a goal in the first half, Anthony Martial showed up in the box 18 again, this time around, the Frenchman had to deal with a low pass from Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the 44th minute.
The second half started with Sheffield United showing more organisation at the back with little threats in attack but their poor form at goal continued. They couldn’t hold United’s attacking prowess much longer as they bowed to pressure from Manchester United‘s attackers in the 74th minute. Again, Anthony Martial was there to pick up a return pass from Marcus Rashford and chipped the ball over Sheffield United’s goalkeeper, Simon Moore, to make it three.
“I am very happy for Anthony,” the manager of Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said after the match. “We have worked with him getting in the box. The first goal, I think that’s a vital goal with the way he turned and got himself into a position to score from Marcus’ cross. He’s getting into those positions more and more. He is in good form.”
While Martial said: “I feel very good. It’s my first hat-trick in my career, so I hope I will score more. I’m happy because the team played very good today so I think it’s good.”
The three goals have increased Martial’s goals tally from 16 to 19 for United this season. He and his striking partner Rashford are now having the same number of goals.
United’s win over Sheffield United has taken the club closer to the 4th placed Chelsea football club on the league table. Only two points are separating the two clubs right now pending the outcome of Chelsea game against Manchester City. If Chelsea fails to win the match, United will go 4th while Chelsea will fall to the 5th spot.
Watch the highlights of Manchester United (Anthony Martial) V Sheffield United below:
The Stats of Paul Pogba in the Match
Besides Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes were another two sets of outstanding players in the match. The Wednesday’s game marked the first time the duo are starting a match together.
The link-up play between both midfielders was excellent. Pogba played more deeply in the midfield than Bruno but the Frenchman was given the freedom to make attacking run once in a while in the relatively easy match.
In his time on the match, the World Cup-winning midfielder made: 5 successful take-on and created 4 chances. His best time in the game was in the first 45 minutes of the game where he completed over 8 final third passes, created 2 chances and also made over 3 critical interceptions.
“Paul and Bruno showed quality and it’s exciting for us to be working with talent like this,” Solskjaer said after the game.
“Paul is still a bit away from his best form. That’s natural on his first start since September and he’s been working hard, so hopefully, it won’t be too long, but I thought he controlled the game.”
While Martial said: “They’re top players. “In training, we practised the link-up a lot, today was a very good game, we created a lot of chances.”
In the same light, Pogba took to Instagram and posted a series of pictures from the match and wrote in the caption saying: Great win, so happy to be back on the pitch! Keep it up!