When Anthony Martial wrapped his foot around the ball in the 78th minute, you knew exactly what was going to happen next.
The ball crashed into the net, Martial celebrated, and Manchester United fans around the world breathed a huge sign of relief.
United needed the second goal to kill off the game, and having found out on Monday night how dangerous a one goal lead was, Martial’s strike was so important.
It’s becoming routine
Instead of being a sporadic and inconsistent scorer like he has been in recent seasons, and even the first half of this campaign, Martial is turning into a regular on the scoresheet.
As Opta notes, Martial has now scored more goals in 2020 than any Premier League player.
He has 22 goals in all competitions, with 12 coming in this calendar year.
Martial has scored three goals in his last four games, and has embellished these figures with two further assists.
He is Manchester United’s most in form player, and if a chance was to fall to anybody, it would be him who you want to see it drop to.
In the Premier League, Martial is on 17 goals, which is behind Golden Boot leader Jamie Vardy on 23.
We can only wonder what might have been if Martial had not got injured at the start of the season and lost two months, and had Bruno Fernandes playing alongside him the whole campaign.
As detailed by BBC Sport, Martial also has the best shots on target ratio of any Premier League player to score nine goals or more.
Martial gets 68 per cent of his shots on target, higher than Vardy’s 64 per cent, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 59 per cent.
Improvement has been noted
Martial is back wearing Manchester United’s number nine shirt and the club’s decision to persist with him is paying off.
His progress is testament to his own hard working attitude, and the coaching staff who have demonstrated their belief in him, and given him a focus and direction.
Next season Martial will have to do it all again, and prove this season is no fluke. But that’s what being a top striker is all about. You have to constantly evolve to the challenges or be left behind.
Right now Martial is rising to every test put before him. Let’s see if he can produce the goods now in a FA Cup semi-final again, just like he famously did against Everton in 2016.
- Solskjaer says he tried to pull Greenwood out of the England squad
- Solskjaer responds to transfers and Sancho speculation
- Teden Mengi is a genuine reason for United fans to be excited
- Is Anthony Martial the one player Manchester United cannot do without?
- Should United consider Wilfried Zaha as an emergency option?
- Penarol holding out for offer from Manchester United for Facundo Pellistri
- Four questions for Solskjaer ahead of opening game of the season
- Manchester United linked with Ismaila Sarr move
- Hodgson comments on Greenwood, beating United last season and Palace’s new formation
- Amad Traore is the type of talent Manchester United should be signing
- Goal of the Season award a reminder of Rashford’s brilliance
- Manchester United fans react to Thiago’s impending Liverpool move
- Pressure is growing on Manchester United to show their hand
- Ryan Tunnicliffe set for Manchester United reunion with Luton Town