Anthony Martial on target as Manchester United battle to win in Belgrade

Posted Friday, October 25, 2019 by PA

Anthony Martial on target as Manchester United battle to win in Belgrade

Manchester United ended their wretched 11-match winless run on the road as Anthony Martial’s spot-kick secured a hard-fought victory played out to a hostile backdrop at Partizan Belgrade.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer kicked off his reign with a club record nine successive away wins, only to endure a remarkable 33-week wait stretching back to March’s jaw-dropping Champions League triumph at Paris St Germain.

No longer at the continent’s top table, the Europa League provided the platform for their first victory on the road since then, with United digging deep amid Partizan pressure – from both players and their unrelenting fans – as Martial’s first-half penalty secured a 1-0 triumph.

It was a welcome return to winning ways at a poignant setting as Partizan Stadium hosted United’s final match before the Munich air disaster on a refuelling stop on their way back from Belgrade.

Club officials paid respect to the 23 killed on the morning of a game that saw Partizan fans stream backing into a stadium after serving a two-match UEFA sanction for racist behaviour.

It led to understandable concerns of a repeat of the shameful scenes in Bulgaria last week, but this Group L encounter appeared to pass without any such behaviour as United got back to winning ways – albeit not in the most convincing fashion.

Jesse Lingard and former Rangers man Umar Sadiq hit the woodwork in quick succession during an even first half that United would snatch the lead in, with Martial converting the penalty won by the direct running of Brandon Williams.

It capped a promising display by the 19-year-old on his second senior start and fellow teenager James Garner held his own in a hostile environment, but Solskjaer’s side rode their luck in Belgrade.

Savo Milosevic’s men pushed throughout the second half but were just unable to level.


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