Juan Mata has heaped praise on Manchester United’s Anthony Martial in the aftermath of Saturday’s 3-0 win over Fulham, singling out the Frenchman as a player who can win matches on his own.
United produced another dominant display under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Martial and Paul Pogba standing out as the Red Devils fired three goals past a timid Cottagers side bereft of ideas against a superior opponent.
And while Pogba was named man of the match for his two-goal performance, it was Martial – who also registered a goal and an assist – for whom Mata would reserve special praise.
“If we speak about Paul and Anthony: fantastic players, great goals – the goal from Anthony today… only a few players can do that,” the 30-year-old told beIN Sports after the victory.
“I just love Anthony. The better he plays, the more we win. I always say the same, but it’s true: give the ball to Anthony and we will win!”
Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Old Trafford ended with the club sitting in sixth place with 26 points, but have since returned to the top four under Solskjaer.
An incredible upturn in form under the Norwegian has seen United unbeaten in 11 matches, winning 10 of those, and suddenly the belief, both from outside and inside the club, has changed entirely.
“You always believe you can do it when you play for a club like Manchester United,” Mata said.
“It seems like nothing is impossible. It’s seemed very far [away], fourth position, third position, but we are there now.
“We did a really difficult job but we know that we’re not there yet because the Premier League has not ended.
“We want to keep up this good performance, this good run, everyone playing, everyone contributing to the game. I think we are very strong as a group and we are showing it. Hopefully we can keep going until the end.”
Tuesday marks Solskjaer’s first taste of Champions League football as United’s manager, with a visit from Paris Saint-Germain marking the boss’ sternest test to date.
The French champions will be without Neymar – and potentially Edinson Cavani – for that clash, providing a boost to the hosts, but Mata insists it will not be easy despite their Solskjaer-inspired resurgence.
“There is fantastic chemistry between all of us, the players and the manager,” Mata continued.
“Since he came the only thing he’s tried is to make us confident, that we can beat anyone, that we can play very good and get the results and we’re doing so.
“So we are very happy obviously because when you when ten games you are very happy and high on confidence.
“Now we face another challenge, which is a Champions League match with PSG. It will be very difficult but hopefully we can keep going.
“Everyone is contributing to the team, everyone is leaving their egos aside and just wanting to give their best for the team whenever we play and I think against PSG we will do the same.
“Whoever plays will try their best. We are feeling strong as a group we are thinking about ‘us’ and not about only ‘me’ and I think that’s very good to achieve our goals until the end.”