After their bright start to the season together, Anthony Martial revealed how his relationship with Marcus Rashford is pushing both strikers on.
Both players have entered 2019/20 with points to prove and the opportunity to do so, with a Romelu Lukaku-shaped hole in the Manchester United front-line needing filling.
Four goals between the pair of them in their opening two league games already marks one-fifth of the pair’s tally from last season, with Martial shining in the number nine shirt returned to him two years after it was taken by Lukaku.
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Make no mistake, while the team’s points tally comes first, the pair also keep an eye on how one another is doing on and off the pitch – and are happy to be in direct competition in the goalscoring charts.
“At training, we have this competition between us about scoring goals,” Martial told Sky Sports. “We measure who does the best finishing and who scores the most.
“Who’s winning? Well, that depends… Sometimes it’s him, sometimes it’s me. In games, Marcus likes to play in the middle, like me. I don’t mind dropping off, dropping out, we interchange during games.
“It doesn’t bother me to let him take the lead occasionally. It helps us to terrorise opposition defences and I hope we can keep it up over the course of the season.”
United’s most recent game, a 1-1 draw at Wolves on Monday night in which Martial scored a smart finish, became dogged by the online racist abuse directed at Paul Pogba for missing a penalty late in the match.
Martial admitted such comments still cut players deep but said he had little hope of ever seeing the back of such abuse.
“It’s something you can’t really eradicate from society,” he said. “Out there on the pitch, we can’t do anything about it per se. As players, we are there among white people, black people, people of all colours.
“The French expression is ‘we’re all the same’. Bans should be brought about for people who give out this hatred. People go to football stadiums to have a good time and enjoy the game, and there’s no place for it. I’m in favour of the love, not the hate.”
This article was originally published by Sky Sports and was reproduced with permission.