Looking back at Anthony Martial's hat-trick against Sheffield United
Anthony Martial is likely to be involved for Manchester United tonight as a starter against Sheffield United.
Marcus Rashford could be rested despite recovering from injury, while Edinson Cavani has started the last two games in a row.
This match is the perfect opportunity to give Martial another chance up front, for the first time at Old Trafford since the win over Aston Villa at the start of the month in which he scored a header.
Playing at home to Sheffield United will bring back happy memories for Martial. The last time he did so he scored a hat-trick.
Martial netted all three goals in a 3-0 win against the Blades at Old Trafford back at the start of July.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BBC Sport after the win: “I am very happy for Anthony. We have worked with him getting in the box. The first goal, I think that’s a vital goal with they 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.”
This was Martial’s first ever Manchester United hat-trick (and currently his only one) and the first by any Red Devils player since Robin van Persie in 2013. Marcus Rashford later followed this up with another one against RB Leipzig.
One step forward…
Unfortunately Martial didn’t quite kick on after this. He has scored nine goals in the subsequent 35 games.
Just five of these goals have come this season, one of which was in the win over Sheffield United in December.
Edinson Cavani’s arrival has reduced Martial’s chances as a central striker and recently seen him shifted back out to the left. But Cavani’s arrival was needed with Martial’s inconsistent early season form.
Martial may get a chance through the centre tonight if Cavani is rested, after starting the last two games. He needs to grab it and start really fighting his cause.
Sheffield United have regressed as a team since last season and while they will no doubt put up a fight this evening, their campaign has been terrible, with just five points accrued all season.
Martial’s hat-trick against the Blades felt like a big moment for him. But months on he is still looking for answers. Perhaps he will find some tonight.
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