- French forward back among the goals
- Red Devils have options in the final third
- Coach prepared to shuffle his pack
WHAT HAPPENED? The France international striker was back in the Red Devils’ starting XI and among the goals during a 4-2 victory over Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup third round. Martial has struggled with injuries this season, while Cristiano Ronaldo has lacked his usual spark in the final third, and Ten Hag is happy to be in a position where he can now rotate his attacking options.
WHAT THEY SAID: The Dutch tactician said of having more firepower at his disposal: “Definitely [good to have Martial back]. We have some offensive problems with availability and we need more players available so we can rotate and not always play the same players. We have to freshen now and again. You see when we bring [Alejandro] Garnacho on, we can bring Anthony Elanga in, with new energies coming up. We need that if we want to be successful, especially in the front line, we need rotation.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: United trailed on two occasions against Villa, but found a way to get the job done and Ten Hag has credited Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen with helping to get them ticking. He said of introducing the classy creative talent just past the hour mark: “That was the purpose. We give away the ball and that was the problem in the first half. I said at half-time, the problem in the first half was we had too many touches and we missed the moment to pass the ball behind. That soon helped with Eriksen on the pitch.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
GettyWHAT NEXT? United, who will face Burnley in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, have one more Premier League fixture against Fulham to take in on Saturday before hitting the World Cup break.