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Manchester United: Anthony Martial could’ve cost Ten Hag against Everton

Manchester United started their 2022/23 FA Cup campaign with a win on Friday night, defeating Premier League strugglers Everton in a convincing 3-1 display, with Erik ten Hag still on track to challenge for every major honour available to his team this season.

The win continued the Red Devils’ blistering form since the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, winning all five of their games since the tournament and indeed riding a seven-match win streak across all competitions going back to November.

In stark contrast, Everton have now gone eight competitive fixtures without tasting victory, and Frank Lampard is in deep, dark waters as the club now languish within the Premier League relegation zone and find themselves out of both domestic cup competitions.

If Ten Hag had fears of an upset before the match, they were swiftly dispelled following £85m summer signing Antony‘s goal after just four minutes, turning in Marcus Rashford‘s threaded cross-penalty box ball.

Liverpudlian Conor Coady did manage to restore parity just ten minutes later, bundling in after a calamitous David de Gea mistake, but United’s confidence and conviction was too much in the end, the quality washing over the gallant Everton backline like a tidal wave.

Coady unfortunately turned the ball into his own net shortly after the second half commenced, with Rashford scoring a thumping penalty in stoppage time to score for a fifth consecutive game.

A lot went well for the Red Devils, but a couple of performances left little to be admired; De Gea was indeed at fault once again after his dreadful lapse of focus gave the Toffees a lifeline, but it was Anthony Martial who again failed to grasp his opportunity to shine, amid intense speculation over United’s search for a new striker.

Does Martial have a future at MUFC?





As per Sofascore, the 30-cap French international recorded a lowly average rating of 6.2 – the joint-lowest alongside United’s goalkeeper – and he failed to take his chances and knit the offensive push together in a manner which would have pleased Ten Hag.

Subbed off for Anthony Elanga after 71 minutes, Martial failed to make a direct contribution to the final score and only had one shot on target, missing one big chance.

Making 42 touches and completing 88% of his passes, the ace failed to make any meaningful impact on the affair, losing possession ten times and winning just one of his six duels; he will need to be far more robust if he is to find a place within Ten Hag’s ambitious plans for the future.

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Sport writer Emmanuel Ayamga described the forward as “frustrating” for his inability to display the refined, clinical edge that he has demonstrated on many previous occasions since his £36m move from AS Monaco in 2015, netting 84 times for his current club.

There is still a devastating natural talent lying within the “Ferrari” – as the 27-year-old was once hailed by Owen Hargreaves – with five goals in 12 matches this term an indication that he can still make a contribution.

However, he will soon have to start combining performance levels with goals, with several striking options being touted for the Theatre of Dreams on the rumour mill.