Anthony Martial scored Manchester United’s crucial away goal against Club Brugge.
But if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plan had gone the way he had originally intended, Martial would not even have been on the pitch.
Solskjaer said before the game that his plan had been to start Mason Greenwood. The teenager did not travel to Belgium due to illness.
The United boss told MUTV via the club website before kick-off: “We were thinking Mason for this game, he didn’t feel well, so Anthony starts and Odion will probably come on.”
Martial scored United’s goal in the 36th minute before being substituted in the 66th for Odion Ighalo.
This was a sign United are still counting on Martial to start against Watford on Sunday too, as would have been the intention by bringing in Greenwood to give the Frenchman a rest.
Ighalo is still not up to full fitness although this was a longer run out than he had against Chelsea.
Martial made the most of it
Martial scored an excellent individual goal to earn United a 1-1 draw and a vital away goal.
Solskjaer told the club website after the game on Martial’s strike: “A very, very good goal, individual goal. He worked hard to win the ball off him and was composed to put it in, so we’re happy with that.”
Aside from that he was starved of service and young Mason Greenwood might have found it very tough going.
United made six changes to the team which beat Chelsea and had Greenwood played over Martial it would have been seven.
Greenwood is a terrific talent but playing in a weakened team would have done him no favours. Martial did well to get his goal and put United in a good position to reach the last 16, with a win at Old Trafford the seemingly simple requirement.
Solskjaer did not comment on Greenwood after the game and he will be assessed over the coming days. Hopefully he is fit enough to feature in Sunday’s squad as United need all the firepower we can muster.
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