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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Anthony Martial’s performance after he played a crucial role in United’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
The Red Devils were even on points with Premier League leaders Liverpool after beating the thriller. Bruno Fernandes’ penalty turned out to be the winning moment despite a flood of other opportunities.
But Frenchman Martial put the hosts up front at Old Trafford in the first half. In fact, the 25-year-old scored his first goal in open play this season.
Furthermore, the strike is only the fifth of the campaign, in which he has faced adversity, including an expulsion against Tottenham.
Talking to Sky sports However, after the match, Solskjaer insisted that Martial has overcome his losing streak.
“He has to keep playing like he did today, catch the ball, connect with the players, be between the posts.” manager said.
“He has had opportunities throughout the season and perhaps his confidence has been affected a little earlier with the expulsion and some inconveniences he had.
“But now he’s shooting and he’s getting better and better.”
Villa had his fair share of opportunities and forced United goalkeeper David de Gea in action at all times.
In fact, Fernandes’ penalty in the 61st minute and several missed occasions ensured a nervous shot.
Solskjaer added that he was unhappy with the way his team defended itself in the final ten minutes.
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“I didn’t really enjoy the last ten minutes because I felt like we should have seen the game in a better way,” he said. “It seemed like it was a cup final or the last game of the season.
“So we have to learn to play better when we are in the lead. We have shown that when we pursue a goal we are capable of achieving it. “
On what he liked about the performance of his players, the Norwegian said: “We create chances, it will always be a physical game.
“We know they have improved tremendously and gave us some challenges and there were a few times in that box where you were a little worried.
“We don’t stop the centers well enough because when they put centers in the area they are always dangerous. But we did some fantastic blocks and saves and I’m delighted with the three points.
United will turn their attention to Carabao Cup and FA Cup action in their next two games. However, they continue their quest for top spot in the Premier League and Liverpool when he faces Burnley on January 12.