Man United News and Notes: Martial, Fred, Ighalo

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anthony martial

Do you want the good news or bad news first? We’ll just go ahead and get the bad out of the way first- Manchester United forward Anthony Martial is injured again. The Frenchman missed his club’s 5-0 rout of Club Brugge, in the home leg of their round of 32 UEFA Europa League tie. Winners on aggregate with a margin of 6-1, they’ll now learn their round of 16 opponent in a matter of hours.

The first half was definitely the best that United have played for a 45 minute span this season, if not much longer. However, losing Martial is definitely a blow, especially with leading scorer Marcus Rashford likely done for the season.

“He didn’t feel right after the training yesterday, or he walked off during training and he’s injured,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said before kickoff.

“So hopefully it won’t be too bad but I don’t really know yet how long he’ll be [out].”

United have Everton next in league play on Sunday. Leading the line for that one could be Odion Ighalo. The surprise January deadline day addition, acquired on loan from Shanghai Shenhua, got his first start and his first goal in a United short tonight and that is absolutely huge given how United was his boyhood club.

“It was a great moment, I have been waiting for this since making my debut,” Ighalo said of this moment.

“I have it now and it starts my goal career here at the team I have supported since I was a little boy. It is a dream come true and I thank God for that. ”

Can Ighalo be the guy who steps up here for the stretch run? If indeed Martial is out for a period of time?

The man of the match today was definitely Fred however. He contributed in numerous ways, including scoring. The Brazilian midfielder scored his first goal in 17 months, and then added another! After the match Solskjaer had a hilarious comment about it.

“I’m happy for everyone,” Solskjaer said. “There are loads of players out there, having improved.”

“Scotty’s back, he’s improved. But Fred, I wasn’t sure if I was ever gonna be alive the next time he scored a goal, because he’s had so many attempts!”

fred

“One with his right and one with his left. It’s been an ongoing joke between us, of course. But he got that goal, very pleased for him.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link

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