Premier League: Martial arts propel United into second place

Frank Dalleres
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MANCHESTER United manager Louis van Gaal hailed Anthony Martial’s flying start after the £35m teenager took his tally to three goals in his first three games.

The 19-year-old’s two cool finishes and Juan Mata’s strike helped United come from behind to beat Southampton, for whom striker Graziano Pelle netted twice, and climb to second in the Premier League.

“He is doing great: three matches in a row and three goals,” said Van Gaal. “When you are 19, you cannot expect consistency. Emotionally they shall have a lot of dips so that I expect [that] also from him but that is not a big problem for me. His talent is at a high level and he adapts to the system of how we want to play – that is also important.”

United were also indebted to David de Gea as the goalkeeper, whose deadline-day move to Real Madrid dramatically collapsed, reprised his outstanding form of last season by making several key saves.

Saints, who now lie 16th, took the lead in the 13th minute when Pelle followed up De Gea’s save from Sadio Mane, but Martial turned and slotted an equaliser before half-time.

The former Monaco forward pounced on Maya Yoshida’s loose back-pass to put United ahead and Mata rifled in a third on the rebound before Pelle’s late header left United hanging on.

“I’m disappointed because in my opinion we lost by ourselves,” said Southampton boss Ronald Koeman. “We did a lot of good things. There were several moments in the game where you put the pressure on them. We saw the weaknesses of Manchester United today, defensively.”