Robin Van Persie singled out ‘world class’ Anthony Martial after Manchester United secured a place in the semi-finals of the Europa League with an extra-time victory over FC Copenhagen on a sweltering evening in Cologne.
Martial earned the foul for Bruno Fernandes’ penalty which separated the two sides in extra-time.
The French forward was quiet in the opening stages, but came alive when the Copenhagen defence tired and came close to scoring two magical individuals goals after a series of marauding runs.
Without the incredible shot-stopping exhibition from the Danish side’s ‘keeper Karl-Johan Johnsson, Martial would have taken his tally to 24 for the season in all competitions.
He was the most dangerous player on the pitch in the second-half and beyond and is proving to Solskjaer why he does not need to sign a striker to replace him in the team.
Martial will be vital to United’s chances of going all the way in the competition, and the Reds will learn their semi-final opponents in Tuesday’s clash between Wolves and Sevilla.
United great Van Persie was full of praise for Martial on the full-time whistle, describing him as the outstanding player on what was a gruelling evening for the Reds.
“I think Martial is a world class player,” Van Persie told BT Sport.
“The outstanding player for me tonight was Martial. When he switches it on he’s too fast, too silky. Wow. What a player.”