Rio Ferdinand reacts to Anthony Martial’s display in Man United’s 1-1 draw with Everton

Rio Ferdinand has his say on Anthony Martial's display during Man United's 1-1 draw with Everton

Rio Ferdinand
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand (Photo: BT Sport)

Rio Ferdinand praised Anthony Martial for his “great finish” as Manchester United were pegged back and held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

Martial scored the opener just before half-time, but the Red Devils were pegged back when Andros Townsend equalised in the 65th minute.

Manchester United headed into the game looking to return to winning ways after the disappointment of their 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa in the Premier League last weekend.

The Red Devils had beaten Villarreal 2-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday night but knew that a victory over the Toffees at Old Trafford would move them to the top of the Premier League table ahead of their rivals’ fixtures.

After a battling first half in which the home side enjoyed most of the possession, the Red Devils took the lead in the 43rd minute when Martial fired home a first-time finish from the left-hand side of the box after being found by Bruno Fernandes’ pass.

Everton, however, drew level in the 65th minute when Townsend slid home a fine finish after a sweeping move.

The Toffees thought they had netted a winner when Yerry Mina found the back of the net in the 85th minute, but the goal-scorer was adjudged to have been offside by the VAR.

The Red Devils were unable to find a winner as they were forced to settle for a point in front of their home fans, leaving them second in the table.

Despite a disappointing result, Manchester United legend Ferdinand praised Martial for his goal at half-time.

“We said before the game that Martial has gotten a vote of confidence from the manager, he needs to come in and put in a performance,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport at half-time.

“He hasn’t probably quite hit the levels you expect from him performance-wise – but this guy will be judged on goals. It’s a great finish there in the end, a little help probably from the deflection but they all count.”

Meanwhile, fellow BT Sport pundit Jermaine Jenas praised Mason Greenwood for his role in the build-up to the opening goal.

“It was a really special move,” Jenas said. “You’ve got to give so much credit here to Mason Greenwood. He’s been coming in off the inside so much this game, and that ball [the pass to Fernandes] is what unlocks that defence.

“The finish is there, and the finish is quality, but [Greenwood] has to fire the ball in [to Fernandes]. This is the ball that unlocks Everton, because their shape is actually OK. The touch and the turn from Fernandes is brilliant and then it’s on a plate.”

Manchester United will return to Premier League action after the international break when they take on Leicester City away from home in two weeks’ time.

The Red Devils then head into a tricky run of Premier League fixtures, with games against Liverpool FC, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City coming up in the top flight.

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