Bruno Fernandes was once again Manchester United’s matchwinner with an extra-time penalty to send Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side into the Europa League semi-finals – but Anthony Martial was the real star of the show against Copenhagen on Monday night.
Though Martial will be disappointed not to have found the back of the net, he was a class above throughout and Copenhagen had an impenetrable wall between the sticks in Karl-Johan Johnsson, who produced a man-of-the-match display at Cologne’s RheinEnergieStadion.
There can be little doubt that Martial is thriving under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and finally delivering on the potential most United fans have always known he’s had in his locker since arriving from Monaco back in 2015.
Louis van Gaal was never able to get such a sustained run of high-class performances out of Martial and there were even rumours Jose Mourinho wanted to offload the France international after running out of patience with his lack of consistency in United colours.
There has also been debate surrounding Martial’s best position throughout his five-year stay at Old Trafford with both Van Gaal and Mourinho forcing him out wide, often to accommodate for United’s other attacking talent.
However, Scholes believes Martial has proven since the restart that he’s capable of being an ‘unstoppable’ No.9 and sang the Frenchman’s praises after United booked their place in the next round.
‘I like him, I’ve always liked him,’ Scholes said on BT Sport shortly after the final whistle.
‘Is he a No.9 or is he a wide player? He’s turned himself into a No.9 every game I watch, more and more.
‘When he squares a player up and gets a run at him, I think he’s unstoppable. I don’t see how you stop him. If a defender commits himself, he’s going to give fouls away.
‘Great dribbling and he’s normally a brilliant finisher. Tonight the finishing just wasn’t quite there but there was so many brilliant bits of play he produced at the end.’
Scholes added: ‘He’s only started showing that [awareness and all-round game] lately and that’s why I always wondered whether he is a wide player or whether he’s a No.9.
‘But I think now he’s brought the all-round game to him and he’s got everything: he can beat a man, he’s a man who can score goals and he’s got everything you want in a great centre-forward.’
‘So the only thing now is to put that goal, or ball in the net again. But I was delighted with his performance.’
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