Manchester United identify key to Anthony Martial improving his form

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Anthony Martial to rediscover his goalscoring form for Manchester United after another disappointing performance in the draw with West Brom.

Martial, 25, started in the United attack over Mason Greenwood but was ineffective from the left wing and made way for Greenwood in the 65th minute.

Depressingly, Martial was targeted by racist trolls on social media for the second time in the last three weeks, having been subjected to similar abuse following the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United on January 27.

Martial has been substituted in his last two Premier League starts and only managed seven goals in 29 club appearances. Martial had 13 goals after the same number of appearances for United last term, when he top scored for the club with 23 goals, but Edinson Cavani is favoured up front instead.

“I know Anthony’s working hard to get back to where he was and he’ll score goals,” Solskjaer said. “His attitude is very good, form is sometimes temporary but class is permanent and the kid has got class.

“And when he works hard we know he’s going to come out with the performances in the end.”

Greenwood, 19, is almost certain to start in the Europa League round-of-32 second leg against Real Sociedad in Turin on Thursday.

United were indebted to David de Gea for denying Mbaye Diagne a possible winner in the second-half at West Brom but Greenwood was foiled by former United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and Scott McTominay’s follow-up was cleared off the line.

Harry Maguire saw his added time header gloved onto the post by Johnstone but Solskjaer was disappointed with the derisory amount of chances United created despite their territorial domination.

“We built loads of pressure, created pressure, pegged them back, but I didn’t feel we created enough big moments to score goals,” Solskjaer added. “We did get round the sides, we did flash a few crosses along the line, but maybe the cross, the positioning or the movement wasn’t there.

“We didn’t have big, big moments where you felt that should have been a goal or that should have been a goal, even though the ball was in their last third all the time.”

 

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