Anthony Martial was the hat-trick hero Wednesday night in the first match at Old Trafford in three months. The Frenchman was pure class in solidifying all three points for Manchester United against Premier League rivals Sheffield United.
Though fans weren’t physically present, there was plenty of love for the Reds worldwide, who find themselves back within reach of top four contention. With just eight matches remaining, it’s a mad dash to grab those final Champions League qualification slots. Now unbeaten in 13 matches, Manchester United appear to be a side revamped. Here are three things we learned from United’s 3-0 win against Sheffield.
Wan-Bissaka developing into an offensive threat
United’s defense didn’t always look their best, but Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s overall play was absolutely sensational. The former Crystal Palace man struggled to make an impact against Tottenham, but he had one of his best outings in a United shirt against the Blades. It started off with that impressive assist to set up Martial’s second goal, and that gave the 22-year-old all the confidence necessary to power through until the final whistle.
The Englishman will only get better from here, which should silence critics unconvinced he’s worth the £50m fee that United paid for his services. He’s indefatigable, consistent, and according to the boss, important to United’s success.
“He’s a former winger, he had another couple of great crosses as well. We need to be on the end of those,” Solskjaer said in his post-match remarks.
“Aaron is developing all the time. He’s not played full-back many years and he’ll only get better.”
Rashford rusty, but still essential
Just last week, Marcus Rashford led a successful campaign to help continue a meal program for low-income children in the United Kingdom. This week, United’s No. 10 added a fifth and sixth assist to his stats this campaign. The 22-year-old was in prime position to bag a goal himself on multiple occasions, however sadly could not capitalize. Though he was always in the right position, his finishing was slightly off.
That’s expected to happen after two matches in five days after five months away from the pitch. So, there’s no reason to worry about Rashford’s form yet. If anything, his assists are a step in the right direction. By the end of the season, the Englishman will give fans plenty of reasons to celebrate.
Old Trafford becoming a fortress again
Over the last few campaigns, United once-formidable record at Old Trafford has taken a hammering. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have won the last four of their home matches across all competitions. That’s proof that even with no audience, Old Trafford is once again becoming a venue where United dreams turn into reality. It’s refreshing to see the squad genuinely enjoying playing football again at the Reds’ home ground. After months without it, they’re picking up right where they left off.