Smalling praises Rashford and ‘brilliant’ Martial

Date published: Tuesday 26th April 2016 9:16

Chris Smalling believes Everton’s defenders “were really scared” of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial on Saturday.

Rashford and Martial both started as Manchester United beat Everton 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday, leading the club to their first final since 2007.

Martial scored the winner and has enjoyed a brilliant debut season in English football, with no United player having scored more goals than the Frenchman since he joined from Monaco for £36.7million.

Rashford has burst onto the scene at Old Trafford, rising from the youth ranks to play his first game in mid-February due to injuries.

The 18-year-old has since scored seven goals in 14 games, and both young forwards were pivotal in beating the Toffees at the weekend.

“Now, I think the world’s their oyster if they can stay fit and keep playing together,” Smalling told the Manchester Evening News.

“I think you can see the Everton defenders were really scared to get tight with them, because they’ve got that ability in behind them and it’s great to have that attacking edge to our game.”

On Martial, Smalling added: “No one is going to have a harder circumstance coming to Old Trafford with the pressure he had and he is performing brilliantly.

“A lot of players come with potential but it’s how they perform on that stage and luckily enough for us he’s taken to it like it’s nothing.

“Not many players come in with that amount of pressure and he was relatively unknown to the majority of us so to see him turn up week after week, he’s our main attacking threat and he’s been brilliant all season.

“Nothing seems to faze him and you can see that when he gets the ball, he’s got the beating of anyone no matter who he’s playing against.

“More often than not he gets the beating of them and that’s great for us because you just want to feed players like that who are constantly that high on confidence all season.

“You can tell in training sessions, his pace, his ability to take on people, after a few training sessions you have to try to suss him out.”

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