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Martial billed as 'French Ronaldo' after emulating former Man Utd star's solo strike at Fulham

11:21 PM GMT+4 09/02/2019
Anthony Martial Manchester United Fulham 090219
Juan Mata is the man to have compared an Old Trafford colleague to an iconic figure of the club's past, with a stunning goal netted at Craven Cottage

Anthony Martial has earned the nickname “French Ronaldo” from Manchester United team-mate Juan Mata after starring against Fulham.

The Frenchman has enjoyed a welcome return to form over recent weeks.

Having been one of those to struggle for regular starts under Jose Mourinho, questions had been asked of the 23-year-old’s future.

He has, however, been given freedom to express himself by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and responded with a series of eye-catching performances.

Those showings have earned him a new long-term contract, with United moving to ensure that they remain the ones to benefit from his undoubted ability.

Martial’s most recent moment of inspiration was delivered during a Premier League trip to Fulham.

He helped the Red Devils to a convincing 3-0 win which has lifted them back into the top four.

His strike was the second of a productive afternoon at Craven Cottage and the best of the bunch as he drove at the hosts from deep, shrugging off challenges before producing a composed finish.

Mata was among those quick to salute a stunning strike, both at the time and afterwards on social media when posting: “Listen Anthony Martial, you are very good at playing football, you know that right? #FrenchRonaldo”

Martial’s strike drew immediate comparisons to one delivered by a five-time Ballon d’Or winner during his time with United.

Almost 12 years ago to the day, Ronaldo produced a moment of magic for the Red Devils at Fulham.

On February 24, 2007, the Portuguese snatched a late winner in west London.

He picked up the ball on the same left-hand side of the field before surging past defenders and firing into the same bottom corner.

Martial has some way to go before he can claim to have made a similar impact at Old Trafford, but he is heading in the right direction.

He has already matched his 11-goal return from the whole of the 2017-18 campaign and is just six short of his personal best – recorded in his debut season with United.

Solskjaer will be hoping that he continues to deliver the goods as there are bigger tests than Fulham fast approaching.

Next up for United is the first leg of a Champions League last-16 encounter with Paris Saint-Germain.

They then have meetings with Chelsea and Liverpool to come in the FA Cup and Premier League.