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Martial puts Man Utd’s top four bid back on track

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) – Anthony Martial put Manchester United’s bid for a top four finish back on track as the French forward ended his goal drought in Saturday’s crucial 2-0 victory against Wolves.

Martial had gone eight games without scoring before he netted in the first half at Old Trafford.

United’s first win in three matches was wrapped up by Alejandro Garnacho’s stoppage-time goal.

After successive defeats at Brighton and West Ham threatened to ruin their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, Erik ten Hag’s side restored order at Old Trafford.

Fourth-placed United, who sit behind Newcastle on goal difference, moved four points clear of Liverpool, who are fifth and play at struggling Leicester early tomorrow (3am, Brunei time).

After that fixture, United will still have three matches left while Liverpool will have only two to play, leaving Ten Hag’s men in control of their top four destiny.

“Vital. We had to bounce back after big defeats. We had no energy and played slow in those games. Today we had to win and we did it,” Ten Hag said.

Critical despite the win, Ten Hag added: “We are very good at making the opponents’ goalkeeper man of the match. We have to be more clinical. We have to work on better conversion… You have to be ready for every match.”

Ten Hag made three changes as Marcus Rashford was sidelined by injury, while Wout Weghorst and Tyrell Malacia dropped to the bench, with Martial, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane coming in.

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw duels for the ball with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Adama Traore at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England. PHOTO: AP
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