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UEFA Europa League

Manchester United boosted by Anthony Martial's return before facing Partizan

02:18 BST 24/10/2019
Anthony Martial, Man Utd
The Frenchman got back in action against Liverpool and is primed to start against FK Partizan in the Europa League...

Anthony Martial had a flying start to the season as he scored twice and provided an assist in the opening three matches of the Premier League for Manchester United. But a hamstring injury sustained during a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in August sidelined the winger and scuppered Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans.

After missing eight games, he was finally thrown into action for a brief period at the weekend when the Red Devils hosted Liverpool at the Old Trafford. 

Martial was the livewire in attack for United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was at his wits end to solve the attacking woes in his absence. That United have managed to find the net only thrice in five Premier League matches including a Marcus Rashford spot-kick against Leicester City only highlights the sorrow state of attack. 

Rashford is going through a lean patch of form, having scored only twice in Premier League, and the return of Martial will only add potency to an attack that has been blunt, to say the least. Although the British striker did find his scoring boots against Liverpool, his consistency has let him down otherwise.

After the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, the onus was on the young guns to lead the attack. Both Martial and Rashford showed promise as they had a bright start to the league campaign hammering Chelsea 4-0 in the opening game. The duo carried their form into the next game against Wolves as Martial once again pierced the net after his partner-in-crime set him up. 

In the first two games, the Frenchman showed signs that he was finally realizing his potential and doing justice to his talents. He oozed confidence as he looked to take on defenders. He was enjoying his role as the target man who also looked at ease while drifting wide to provide more support to his wingers. 

But things took a bitter turn when Martial was seen limping out of the stadium after the Crystal Palace game and further scans showed that he will be out for a considerable period of time. During this period, United suffered shock defeats to West Ham and New Castle and have scored only once in Europe in two matches. In their previous match against AZ Alkmaar, they once again drew blank and their attack looked starved of creativity as they could not muster a single shot on target. 

Hence the return of Martial will definitely provide a relief to Solskjaer. But it remains to be seen if Martial can continue from where he left before getting injured.

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