Jose Mourinho heaped praise on Paul Pogba after the midfielder dazzled on his return from injury for Manchester United.
The France international hadn't played since suffering a hamstring injury in September but there were no signs of rust as he ran the show in United's 4-1 triumph over Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
Mourinho - who revealed he allowed Pogba to decide how many minutes he played - feels the presence of the 24-year-old made a telling difference to the way the team performed, particularly in attack.
"[Pogba was] different class. [It was] what we had in the beginning of the season with Paul and [Nemanja] Matic, growing up together and being like the engine of the team," the Portuguese manager told BT Sport.
"We lost a bit of that because, while other players are good players, they have different qualities.
"I left it in Paul's hands as to how long he played. We made that decision [to replace him] at a good time - it was a great performance from him."
7 - Man Utd have now won seven consecutive Premier League games at Old Trafford; their longest run since March 2013, when they won 12 in succession under Sir Alex Ferguson. Stronghold. — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 18, 2017
While Pogba was replaced by Marouane Fellaini in the 70th minute, team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his comeback from a serious knee injury with a late cameo off the bench.
The Swede made his first appearance in 216 days and, after coming on in the 77th minute, nearly marked the occasion with a goal, Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot keeping out his acrobatic volley just before full-time.
"The returning of injured players is obviously nice. Especially in Zlatan's case, it was such a dramatic injury and to see him back is a great emotion," Mourinho added.
Newcastle counterpart Rafael Benitez felt conceding a second goal just before the break was crucial to his side's chances of getting anything from the game.
The visitors had taken a shock lead in the 14th minute through Dwight Gayle, but United turned the game around with headers from Martial and Chris Smalling, who converted Ashley Young's cross in first-half stoppage time.
"We knew that it was important to go in [at half-time] with a draw, we were doing really well. Then obviously the second goal gave them a lift, and then it was more difficult in the second half," Benitez told BT Sport.
"It's simple and clear – when you spend so much money on players of this quality, it is to make a difference in games.
"We know our strengths and weaknesses. Today was a game where we were doing really well, but as soon as they scored the second goal it was really difficult."
10 - Romelu Lukaku has had a hand in 10 goals in eight Premier League starts against Newcastle (six goals, four assists). Form. — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 18, 2017