Anthony Martial needs to transform into a ‘killer’ in the box, warns Frank Leboeuf with Manchester United striker STILL yet to score Premier League goal this season
- Anthony Martial’s first league effort on target this term came after 292 minutes
- The 24-year-old’s only goals this season have come in the Champions League
- Bruno Fernandes’ retaken penalty secured all three points for Manchester United
The 24-year-old saw a presentable opportunity in the first half of Saturday’s unconvincing 1-0 win against West Bromwich Albion go begging when he was denied by excellent former United man Sam Johnstone.
Incredibly, that was Martial’s first shot on target of the league campaign after four hours and 52 minutes on the field and his only goals in 15 appearances for club and country this term have come in the Champions League against RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir.
Anthony Martial has not been able to find that clinical edge for Manchester United this season
The Frenchman’s only senior goal for his country came in September 2016 in a win over Italy
Martial has been similarly ineffectual on international duty recently, failing to score in France’s 1-0 win over Portugal despite having several clear opportunities.
His compatriot Leboeuf is becoming increasingly concerned about the forward’s form.
‘I’m worried about Anthony Martial,’ he told ESPN. ‘He is a fantastic player and when he’s confident, he is OK.
‘He played with the international team and missed three chances against Portugal.
‘He missed another chance today. For a world-class player, it was an easy chance. He has to be a killer. I’m not pleased with any of those players. What I saw was a poor performance.’
David Coote reversed his decision to give West Bromwich Albion a penalty after seeing replays
After a first half at Old Trafford with little to write home about, the second period more than made up for the earlier lack of drama.
West Brom were awarded a penalty just after the break when Conor Gallagher went down under the challenge of Bruno Fernandes, only for referee David Coote to overturn the decision after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Six minutes later, another foul on Gallagher went unpunished and the ball found its way to Juan Mata, whose cross hit Darnell Furlong’s arm in the box for a penalty.
Harry Maguire congratulates Bruno Fernandes after the midfielder converted from the spot
Johnstone thought he had got his team out of trouble with a sprawling save, but a retake was ordered because the 27-year-old had strayed off his line, with Bruno Fernandes making no mistake at the second time of asking.
United now face Basaksehir on Tuesday before returning to league action next Sunday against Southampton, while the Baggies face fellow strugglers Sheffield United at the Hawthorns on Saturday.