Jesse Lingard has admitted that young forward Anthony Martial will "only get better" for Manchester United, as the Frenchman shone in United's 2-1 penalty shootout victory over Champions League holders Real Madrid in San Francisco
It is a nightmare for defenders
Martial is looking to get his United career back on the right track after a second season that was full of disappointment and decreasing opportunities for the 21-year-old, especially considering the way the forward burst on the scene in his debut season after his move from AS Monaco as he finished the club's top scorer with 17 goals.
Last season saw him mainly placed out on the wing by new manager José Mourinho opposed to a number nine role, this exclusion to the wing and a seemingly lack of encouragement from Mourinho on occasion did lead to rumours of a possible exit from Old Trafford.
The Frenchman has had an good start to the club's pre-season tour of America but his performance went up a level against The Galácticos, Martial did brilliantly to run in from the left at the end of the first period dribbling beyond four Madrid defenders and squaring it to Lingard for the opening goal and the scorer stated that Martial will only get better with time and opportunities.
"It was great," Lingard told manutd.com post-match. "Anthony's got great feet when it comes to close control and he's got the confidence to do it in a game."
"It's a nightmare for defenders," he said on Martial's tricky feet. "Luckily I've got myself into space at the back post, got away from my man and then put it away."
'He's only going to get better," Lingard stated. "He's still young and if he carries on with that confidence [he showed for the goal] in the next few games and throughout the season, he'll help us a lot."
Lost motivation against the youngsters
United have proven consistent throughout their pre-season tour thus far having already beaten LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake City and Manchester City, but their clash with Madrid at the Levi's Stadium especially in the second period was arguably their weakest thus far.
They started well as Lingard's effort gave them the lead before Madrid brought on their youngsters for the second period and Casemiro's spot kick took the clash to penalties, the shootout from both sides was one to forget but in the end United got their victory and though Mourinho eluded to the loss of motivation post-match he stated he was still happy with their overall performance.
"I think we lost motivation to play against their young players," Mourinho admitted post-match. "We lost intensity, we lost appetite."
"I think the boys who played in the second half," the coach conceded. "They were disappointed not to play against Real Madrid's best players and best team."
"The second half was not good," Mourinho concluded. "But overall I am happy again."