Frenchman Anthony Martial Struck a brilliant hat- trick to fire Manchester United to a 3-0 walloping of visiting Sheffield United on Wednesday to boost their chances of a top four finish.
Martial struck twice in the first half and completed his first senior treble after the interval at Old Trafford.
The France forward is the first United player to score a Premier League hat-trick since Alex Ferguson retired as their manager in 2013.
Martial’s heroics stole the spotlight from United team-mate Paul Pogba, who was making his first start since September 30 and altough the red devils remain unbeaten in their last 13 games in all competitions, they remain in fifth place, but are just two points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, who face champions Manchester City on Thursday.
United’s first win since the coronavirus hiatus was well deserved as they took advantage of another lethargic display from the Blades, who would have gone above the hosts with a victory.
Martial’s exquisite finishing ensured United consolidated on last week’s draw at Tottenham, but Pogba’s confident return in his 10th appearance of an injury-ravaged campaign was also encouraging for Solskjaer.
On the hottest day of the year in Britain, United were playing behind closed doors at Old Trafford for the first time.
The club had put enormous mosaics featuring photos of fans across three stands to cover the seats and the empty stadium was echoing to the shouts of celebrating United players after just seven minutes.
Marcus Rashford pounced on a loose ball in the Blades penalty area and with the visitors’ defence slow to react, he whipped a low cross to Martial, who fired home at the near post.
It was Martial’s 12th league goal of the season — the most he has managed in a single top-flight campaign in his career.