Anthony Martial Scores Manchester United's First League Hat-trick In Seven Years
Anthony Martial scored a brilliant hat-trick as Manchester United put away Sheffield United, scoring the side's first hat-trick in seven years.
United faced top four rivals Sheffield on Wednesday night, with the prospect of a loss to the Blades seeing Chris Wilder's team overtake them in the race for the Champions League spots.
Martial, who often frustrates fans, opened the scoring from close range after just seven minutes, firing in a cross from forward partner Marcus Rashford.
He nearly returned the favour soon after but his fellow striker somehow missed when put through by the Frenchman. Martial did double the score as half time loomed, striking from inside the box from Aaron Wan-Bissaka's cross.
In the second half the former Monaco forward stole the ball off teammate Paul Pogba to deny his countryman a great chance, after a slaloming run from the midfielder, but he made up for it with a beautiful chip to wrap up his first hat-trick for the club.
:soccer::soccer::soccer: Anthony Martial has scored Man Utd's first PL hat-trick in 263 games, spanning 7 years & 63 days, since Robin van Persie v Aston Villa in April 2013- Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) June 24, 2020
:red_circle: It's the first hat-trick of Martial's club career, in his 284th appearance pic.twitter.com/UP5WH6S8Z9
There has usually been more lows than highs for the 13 time Premier League champions in the time since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club at the end of the 2012/13 season and that has been illustrated by the lack of hat-tricks.
In the seven years before the legendary manager's retirement the club scored 14 hat-tricks in the league but since Robin van Persie wrapped up their most recent league title in April 2013 they haven't scored any, until Martial's on Wednesday night.
Martial is often a cause of frustration for fans as he mixes glimpses of his quality with an occasional lack of effort and runs of poor form.
He had one of his frustrating performances against Spurs last Friday, United's return to action since the Covid-19 break, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side drew 1-1 with Jose Mourinho's team.
But on Wednesday he was in excellent form as the Red Devils moved to within two points of Chelsea in fourth and six points behind third placed Leicester City.
For Chris Wilder's side it was a third successive game without winning since the players returned from three months without any action.