Former Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta felt sorry to see Anthony Martial who was demanded to stay in the scheme of playing Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho concoction.
Pep Guardiola’s side extended their lead over Manchester United to 12 points when goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan sealed their 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.
Martial had brought United back to the match with a penalty in the 58th minute, but Gundogan’s goal broke the Red Devils’ hopes.
United’s prominent player in recent weeks has been Martial and even though the Frenchman managed to break into Manchester City’s goal, he still had to divide his focus by defending.
Speaking after City’s victory, West Ham United defender Zabaleta claimed that he felt sympathetic to Martial who had not been given the freedom to play naturally according to his character.
“I think this is Mourinho’s philosophy. We have seen that at Inter Milan and Real Madrid. When a manager has to convince players to play the way they want, it is simple. Some players will enjoy it and others will not enjoy it, “Zabaleta told Sky Sports.
“When you see Martial, when you see [Marcus] Rashford, they must always keep the opposing wing defender from just attacking, and they cannot experience one-on-one situations when attacking. I think if I am in their position, it must be a difficult thing. ”
“Of course when he played against Manchester City which dominated possession, he would suffer. But when he plays against other teams of lower quality, maybe it’s different. We’re West Ham and we played against Manchester United a few weeks ago. Martial continued to follow me. He made me feel young, but I felt sorry for him because he was only looking after me all the time, “he concluded.
Not infrequently only the focus of attack will make players on the front lines able to display their best performance. That was shown by Eden Hazard this season. Playing without having to think about defense made Hazard able to become the most important element of Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri.