United came from behind to hammer Newcastle United. The club ended up cantering to victory against an error-prone Newcastle at Old Trafford.
Martial canceled out teenager Matty Longstaff’s opener for Newcastle with a near-post finish before a deflected shot from outside the penalty area by 18-year-old Mason Greenwood went off the bar.
Rashford extended United’s lead further with a header. This marked his 11th Premier League goal of the season before Martial added the fourth.
Anthony Martial symbolizes the erratic nature of Manchester United. Occasional flashes of genuine brilliance and decent overall performances are mixed with others making the French forward a star.
This makes the executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward wonder whether he was right to resist Mourinho’s willingness to sell the Frenchman at the beginning of last season.
During the match, at half-time, a knowledgeable and experienced United observer continued to state his belief that the club would be better without Martial despite the fact he had scored.
After the break, Martial’s second after a woeful Sean Longstaff back-pass had sent him clean. This represented the fourth time he had scored more than once for United in the league since he was signed in 2015.
Nonetheless, Martial remains the crowd’s favorite. The ovation he received as he made his way to the dressing room after being replaced by Juan Mata midway through the second half was impressive.
The what if?
If United could extend their Boxing Day home record across the entire season, they wouldn’t be experiencing the kind of drift that has affected them in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Their record since a 3-0 defeat by Liverpool on 26th December 1978 now reads an impressive 16 wins and three draws from 19 fixtures.
United has never had a Boxing Day win as big as this one since they put five past Wigan on 26 December 2011. Ironically, this was the last day Newcastle won a Boxing Day away fixture at Burnley.
That Wigan game marked the last time United scored five at home in a Premier League game.
After the match press conference
“We’re not going to see the best of Mason Greenwood for a couple of years. He is learning, growing as a human being. He will grow more and more.”
“Marcus sprung on the scene the same age and you see more maturity in his game.”
“You saw the intent straight away. Newcastle made mistakes but we made them make them by pressing and we made it hard for them.” Said Solskjaer
Steve Bruce, on the other hand, said, “We gifted it to them. That is the biggest disappointment we all fell. You can’t make that many mistakes here. It is disappointing. The reason we have got a few results is the way we have defended. We made far too many individual errors today.”
“You are never surprised by the character of Manchester United. That is the disappointment. No player wants to make the mistakes we did.”