Manchester United moved to third in the table after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side put Leeds United to the sword at Old Trafford.
Scott McTominay opened the floodgates in the first half with a long-range effort, and the midfielder got his second just a few moments later, with Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof adding the extras, before Marcelo Bielsa’s side pulled one back with a header from Liam Cooper shortly before the break.
But United extended their lead almost immediately after Daniel James got himself on the scoresheet before a customary penalty from Fernandes made it 6-1 after Pascal Struijk fouled Anthony Martial in the box.
However, there was still time for late drama after Stuart Dallas scored from long-range, but the Red Devils weren’t to be denied the spoils.
Fernandes was in scintillating form, McTominay was magnificent, but Martial defied his critics with a man of the match-worthy performance.
As any regular reader of this column will no doubt be aware, we can count ourselves among that number, but it’s hard to deny the fact that the Frenchman looked back to his very best against Leeds.
Per SofaScore, Martial received a high rating of 9.1 out of ten for his efforts – only McTominay was awarded a higher score – he took one shot on target, three shots off target, completed seven of his eight dribble attempts successfully, created three big chances, and contributed to two goals, while he won a penalty, was fouled once and made one clearance as well.
The France international took more touches of the ball than Fernandes (55) and clearly made the possession count, providing 25 out of 31 passes (81%), showing no hesitation in dropping deep into his own half to pick up the ball and bring others into play.
The Manchester Evening News were effusive in their praise for the 25-year-old, giving Martial a grade of 8/10 and claiming he ‘won the penalty in his best performance of the season by a distance’, whilst The Daily Express were equally glowing in their assessment, insisting he was ‘a constant threat upfront with his clever movement, pace and link-up play.’
It’s safe to say the French versatile forward was an influential presence as he provided two assists for the first two goals, despite not scoring himself as he blazed a shot over the bar.
There’s no doubt Solskjaer will have been secretly delighted with his sublime display, having launched a passionate defence of the £82m-rated (€90m) misfiring forward after his miss in the 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League ultimately proved costly as they were eventually dumped out of the competition by RB Leipzig.
Forget McTominay, it was Martial who stole the show at Old Trafford.