February 13, 2017

UEFA Europa League: Martial relishing renewed Saint-Etienne rivalry

UEFA Europa League: Martial relishing renewed Saint-Etienne rivalry

Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial has more reason than most of his Manchester United team-mates for wanting to score against French club Saint-Etienne in Thursday’s Europa League tie at Old Trafford.

Martial, 21, made his way in football as a youth player with Lyon, arch domestic rivals of Saint-Etienne.

The France winger never played in the senior derby fixture but would love to be on target against Saint-Etienne on Thursday, even though a goal would cost United 10 million euros ($10.6 million) given a clause in their deal with Monaco, the club from which they signed Martial.

Anthony Martial

“There was a huge rivalry while I was still at Lyon,” Martial told United’s website. “It was always a highly charged atmosphere and they were usually massive games, the kind all players love to play in.

“So there will be that added competitive edge whenever I play against them.

“We know it will be a difficult match but if we play with all our quality, I think we can do good things.

“Of course, it would be great if I could score against them again, but I hope we can win the game because that’s the most important thing, then it would be a bonus if I managed to grab a goal.”

Thursday’s match is set to see United’s Paul Pogba up against elder brother Florentin, who plays in defence for Saint-Etienne.

“They are well known for being big jokers and mickey-takers but, once they are on the field, it will be like two warriors who are going all out to win the game,” Martial said.

“If one beats the other, he’ll immediately start giving out loads of stick so they’ll be desperate to do all they can to win!”