United’s disappointing weekend against Wolves continued into their mid-week fixture against Derby in the League Cup, with the Reds crashing out in the third round.
It was a dramatic night to say the least as the Reds got off to a promising start with a goal from Juan Mata in the third minute.
However, as the second half commenced things seemed to go downhill at a rapid rate. From a red card for goalkeeper Sergio Romero to two goals from Derby, United had to find a last-minute equaliser from Marouane Fellaini in order to head to a penalty shootout.
Despite some great saves from Lee Grant, who was substituted on after Romero handled the ball outside of the box, when it came to the shootout, the 35-year-old was unable to stop the visitor’s penalties as the game ended 7-8 to the visitors after Derby’s goalkeeper put a stop to Phil Jones’s penalty.
Although it was another disappointing evening at Old Trafford, one standout player and RedArmyBet’s man of the match was Anthony Martial.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the Frenchman and his relationship not only with Jose Mourinho but with the club itself. From potential moves away from Old Trafford, to committing himself to the Reds, in his last two performances Martial has worked well in United’s formation and has shown Mourinho why he could be vital to the squad.
Against the Rams he contributed to Mata’s goal and was arguably the most prominent player in the first-half of the fixture.
Unfortunately, the 22-year-old couldn’t quite find the back of the net but still showed great spells of play from touches to ball control.
Many fans will have been pleased to see a positive performance from the Frenchman, especially in comparison to Alexis Sanchez and his recent run of disappointing performances.
Martial deserved his minutes on the pitch against Derby and Mourinho was right to give him a start ahead of Sanchez, which has left some fans crying out for Martial to be in the starting line-up this weekend as the Reds travel to West Ham.
Despite his past issues, Martial appeared confident on Tuesday night as he played impressively on the wing and was a constantly threat, something that Mourinho should bear in mind as the season continues.