The French striker scored one and set Wayne Rooney up to score a second as United beat Burnley at the weekend
ANDER HERRERA says Antony Martial’s dazzling display against Burnley has shown he can fill the huge gap left by Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s season-ending injury.
Martial made the most of a rare start by scoring the first goal and setting up the second for Wayne Rooney as Manchester United stretched their unbeaten Premier League run to 23 matches with a 2-0 win at Turf Moor.
In-form midfielder Herrera said Martial’s display summed up the squad’s determination not to let cruel injuries to Ibrahimovic and Marco Rojo knock them out of their stride.
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He said: “It is very important that not only the strikers who are playing more minutes can score – everyone who plays has to give some goals.
“Wazza and Martial did it fantastic. It was the first game Anthony has played as striker this season and he was brillian. He held the ball up, he gave solutions for the team and scored a fantastic goal.
“We were happy that we could dedicate this victory to Ibra and Marcos. They are now having bad moments.
“Ibra, because he is 35 and has won everything and played at the highest level for 15 or 16 years and now it is the first time he gets a really bad injury and so we are really sad for him.
“For Marcos only because he was in the best moment of his career. He was very focused on what he was doing. He is my friend as well so I feel really sad for him but he is very string and he will be back very strong. We dedicate the victory to them.
“And it was good that so many players stepped up against Burnley. Blind and Bailly were at the same high level as Wazza and Martial.
“Daley was not playing every game but he was fantastic. He is not the tallest, he is not the strongest but he is one of the smartest I have ever played with. He gives us a lot of things.
“Burnley are a very difficult team to play against, as we saw when they drew 0-0 with us at Old Trafford earlier in the season.
“We analysed them before the game and saw how play long balls, and they are very aggressive. We tried to play a high line all the time and not allow them to put the ball in the box too much and I think we controlled it.
“We didn’t play brilliant football but we were very clinical and comfortable on the ball. We didn’t take stupid risks. We won decisively.”
Herrera said he is convinced Ibrahimovic will return as good as ever.
He added: “Of course he can get back. First because he is privileged physically. His physique, his body, is one of the best I have ever seen. So I think it will be easier for him to get back than others.
“But yes, he is 35. So he will have to work very, very hard, be very patient. But I have no doubt he will be back because he loves football, he loves to win, he loves to score goals.
“He loves to train every day. Every day he wants to win, every box, every football tennis, everything in training.
“But we need everyone, supporting them – not only Zlatan, but also Marcos, because they are really bad moments for them.”
“Marco was in the best moment of his career, really focused. For me, at the moment he was one of the best centre-backs in the world.
“It is very difficult to beat him, every duel he won, every tackle he won. He has to know that he can also be back as good as he was.
“He is my friend and I will try to be very, very close to him to support him and help him.”