Anthony Martial scored his first goal for Sevilla as they beat Dinamo Zagreb 3-1 in the Europa League.
Sevilla took the lead but after a dramatic equaliser needed two quick-fire goals at the end of the first-half to pick up a much-needed win.
The second of those goals came from Martial.
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As the side’s striker, Martial was ahead of the play as Sevilla streamed up the field on the break as the game entered first-half stoppage time. The Frenchman showed his tactical intelligence by staying on the right, well out of the way of the rapidly collapsing Dinamo defence.
This meant Martial was unmarked and so, when the ball worked its way to Papu Gomez, the Frenchman had his hands out asking for a pass and Gomez slid the ball straight into his path.
Anthony Martial's game by numbers vs. Dinamo Zagreb:
7 duels won
5 dribbles completed (most)
4 shots (=most)
3 final third entries
2 aerial duels won
1 chance created
Back to his best. 💪
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 17, 2022
Martial took two steps forward and shaped to smash it but instead faked and struck it so sweetly, a shot of pure precision low and direct across the goal, leaving Dominik Livakovic with absolutely no chance.
The technique on display to fake a hard shot into a precision effort all in one move is exactly the kind of high-level football Martial fans are used to seeing from the Frenchman when he’s at his best.
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This makes it one goal and one assist in his first three games for Martial as a Sevilla player. After drawing a blank on his debut he picked up an impressive assist against Elche with a delightful left-footed cross from the wing, setting up Rafa Mir.
And then tonight came, where he was charged to lead the line rather than play off a striker. All told he finished the game with 4 shots, hitting the target with 3 of them. He had a joint game-high 7 touches in the opposition box, completed a game-high 5/7 take-ons, created 1 chance and even made 1 clearance.
Martial’s only prior goal this season cam for Manchester United as he opened the scoring against Everton way back in October (meaning he just ended a four month-long scoreless streak). That day United could only draw 1-1 and Martial was removed after 60 minutes.
Tonight he was also removed after 61′ minutes, but this time with a very different sensation as he had delivered victory and was instead being rested for the weekend’s action.
Martial FC has begun rolling in Andalucia, and don’t be surprised if he fires Sevilla to either win La Liga or a seventh Europa League. He’s always had the talent and it seems like under Julen Lopetegui he will match it with effort and production.