The Red Devils began the Erik ten Hag era with a 4-0 thrashing of their arch-rivals, albeit in a friendly fixture, on Tuesday (July 12). Martial was one of the standout performers and scored an excellent chipped goal after forcing a defensive mistake from the Liverpool backline in the first half.
Jadon Sancho and Fred had put United up by two goals prior to the 26-year-old’s excellent effort. Facundo Pellistri added a fourth goal in the second half to confirm a dominant victory.
Cole spoke to MUTV ahead of the match at the Rajamangala Stadium and criticized Martial’s indecisiveness. He said (as quoted by United in Focus):
“He’s got to make his mind up what he really wants. I’m yet to see him sprint full out in five years. Hopefully the manager can get something out of him.”
However, the former Manchester United striker changed his opinion at half-time following Martial’s fantastic display. Cole, who won five Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League with the Red Devils, said:
“Thats the quickest I’ve seen him move. He’s closed down really well. Once he gets himself in the box he’s very composed. He’s got all the attributes, he’s got to marry everything together.”
The 50-year-old added:
“He’s got belief in his own ability. Scoring like that in first game of pre-season is only going to give him more confidence.”
Martial notably endured a below-par 2021-22 season. The 26-year-old scored just once in 11 matches in all competitions for United in the first half of the campaign before being loaned out to Sevilla.
He failed to get going for the La Liga side as well, recording just a goal and an assist in 12 matches across competitions.
Manchester United get off to perfect start under Erik ten Hag with victory against Liverpool
Manchester United named a fairly strong side for their match against Liverpool, who started plenty of youngsters before bringing on their stars in the second half.
The likes of Martial, Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, David de Gea and Raphael Varane all started the game.
Given the gulf in quality between the sides, the Red Devils were certainly favorites to pick up a win to kick off their new era.
The comprehensive margin of victory will be the icing on the cake, but Ten Hag stated after the game that plenty of work is still to be done (as per CaughtOffside).
Manchester United will take on A-League outfit Melbourne Victory in their next match on Friday (July 15). Liverpool, meanwhile, will play against fellow Premier League outfit Crystal Palace on the same day.