Saturday 12 September 2015

Match report: United 3-1 Liverpool

United earned another victory to savour over Liverpool as Anthony Martial scored on a dream debut to ensure a 3-1 triumph and complete a hat-trick of wins over our fierce rivals at Old Trafford.

The visitors looked to have set up a nervous finale when Christian Benteke's spectacular strikes replied to earlier goals from Daley Blind and an Ander Herrera penalty but Martial then took centre stage as he announced his arrival with a superb solo third.

David de Gea made his return in goal by was a bystander for much of a stale, sterile first half as United dominated possession but - without injured striker Wayne Rooney - failed to test Simon Mignolet.

The visitors looked edgy early on as Juan Mata latched onto a loose ball and played in makeshift lone striker Maroaune Fellaini, who lifted it well off target.
Nathaniel Clyne mustered a rare attempt on goal and Memphis Depay's cross was deflected behind with the Merseysiders content to keep United at arm's length.

As in the last match at Swansea City, the Reds started the second period with a goal when half-time substitute Ashley Young, on for Memphis, was fouled by Clyne and Mata rolled the ball back to an unmarked Blind who directed an unerring finish into the top corner.

Back came Liverpool and they went thrice went close in a spell of pressure as Roberto Firmino's cross was well cleared by Chris Smalling, De Gea made a superb stop to keep out Danny Ings and Blind cleared off the line from Martin Skrtel's deflected header.

Martial came on for his debut in place of Mata and the hosts soon doubled their lead when Herrera was fouled in the area by Joe Gomez and the Spaniard smashed home the spot-kick. 

Benteke headed over and Jordon Ibe was denied by a stretching De Gea but the visitors did pull one back as Benteke crashed home an acrobatic volley to set up a tense finish.

That tension did not last, though, and the majestic Martial soon took centre stage as he danced through the Liverpool defence and planted home the calmest of finishes to spark wild celebrations and cap a debut he wouldn't have dreamed of.

Instant hero!

United Faithful Man of the Match: Daley Blind
Overall team performance: 7.5/10

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