Monday 30 May 2016

September: Martial makes his mark as momentum builds

September proves a mixed month for United and Van Gaal with the euphoric triumph over Liverpool followed by a traumatic evening in the Netherlands as we lose our Champions League group game opener.

Tony Martial defies his doubters and lights up Old Trafford with a stunning goal on his debut- a strike that will be voted Goal of the Season- on an evening of euphoric delight as United turn over Brendan Rogers' Scousers for a third time in a row.

Daley Blind and Ander Herrera's penalty give the hosts a 2-0 goal, despite the absence of Rooney, only for Christian Benteke's wonderful reply to set up a tense finale.
Enter, Tony Martial... off the bench, the 19-year-old waltzes and weaves through a mesmerised Liverpool defence to fire in a truly sumptuous goal to become an instant hero and write himself into United folklore. 

Three days later, Memphis nets against his old side but the Dutch champions come from behind to win as the Reds woes are further deepened by the loss of in-form Luke Shaw to a horrific double leg break in the worst possible start to our Champions League campaign.

Martial's two goal salvo fires the Reds to victory on the south coast (Southampton 2-3 United, an excellent goal from Mata completing the win) as we go second in the league and then the Frenchman scores yet again (English press said he had no chance) three days later in a routine 3-0 victory over Championship side Ipswich in the Capital One Cup. 

United make it a 100% record in the league for the month as they go top of the Premier League for the first time in two years with a comfortable home win over early strugglers Sunderland.

It's Dick Advocaat's final game in charge of the visitors and there's no goal for Martial this time, but Memphis, Rooney and Juan Mata score to send United to the summit.

Attentions turn to Europe and having suffered defeat in the opener, the Reds simply must win and do just that despite falling behind on a nervy night against Wolfsburg at Old Trafford.

Daniel Caligiuri slots the visitors into a fourth minute lead but United rally and turn the tie around through Mata's penalty and Chris 'Mike' Smalling's second half goal to earn a vital victory. 

Top of the league and back on track in Europe, early optimism looks set to be realised but little did we know there were several bumps in the road around the corner.

Martial's instant impact propels him to the top of United's goalscoring charts, with three goals in Europe for Memphis seeing him join the Frenchman on four apiece. 

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