Jose Mourinho has heaped praise on Anthony Martial for what was an innovative display during Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Burton Albion in the League Cup.
The Frenchman, deployed on the left hand side, wreaked havoc against a hapless Burton defence in the first half, bursting past defenders at will and manipulating the ball with a mesmerising amount of composure. He was a central component in the creation of United’s third goal of the night, darting infield after receiving an inch-perfect pass from Michael Carrick, dragging players with him, before laying the ball to Jesse Lingard, duly rounded off a spectacular move in the first half.
And Martial was by no means done there. Time and time again he was in behind Burton’s defence, forcing keeper Connor Ripley into making a string of saves and narrowly missing that final touch on a few occasions. Nevertheless, he was a live wire throughout, producing some truly scintillating footwork and pulling Burton’s back four all over the place as a result. He finally claimed a deserved goal – his fourth of the season – on the hour mark after being released by Marcus Rashford.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, was full of praise for the way Martial conducted himself against the Championship side on Wednesday night.
“Anthony Martial wanted to do things,” he said.
“Some of them he did amazingly well, others not so well. But he was always trying and that commitment and happiness on the pitch are always important.”