'It took a while!' - Van Persie responds as Martial finally breaks Man Utd's hat-trick duck

Goal.com

Robin van Persie has responded on social media after Anthony Martial's first hat-trick for Manchester United, jokingly stating that it "took a while" for someone to emulate his heroics in front of goal.

United earned their first victory since the resumption of Premier League football on Wednesday, thrashing Sheffield United 3-0 at Old Trafford.

All the build-up to the contest centered around a potential partnership between Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in the Red Devils' midfield, but Martial stole the headlines with a superb display upfront.

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The Frenchman opened the scoring with just seven minutes on the clock, as he turned home a fierce Marcus Rashford drive at goalkeeper Simon Moore's near post.

United took control of the game thereafter and doubled their advantage just before the interval when Martial got on the end of another low cross, this time from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The 24-year-old striker completed his treble in the 74th minute, playing a neat one-two with Marcus Rashford before dinking the ball over Moore and into the net.

Martial is now the only player to have hit a hat-trick for United in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, with legendary ex-forward Robin van Persie the last man to achieve the feat during a win against Aston Villa in 2013.

The Dutchman took to Twitter to acknowledge Martial's achievement, stating: "It took a while.. but happy that someone has taken the baton after seven years.

"Congratulations on the hat-trick Anthony Martial."

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted to see the  France international's finishing practice in training pay off against Chris Wilder's side, as he told a post-match press conference: "The third goal was a great goal.

"But for me, the first and the second were better. He’s in the box, ready to go. We have worked on that, getting in the box in that situation more often."

Red Devils midfielder Nemanja Matic also praised Martial for his match-winning display, telling reporters: "I think it was very important for him to score goals, for his confidence. Anthony was man of the match, every chance he had went in."

Martial now has 19 goals to his name in all competitions for the Red Devils this season, and will have the chance to add to that tally when Solskjaer's men take on Norwich City in the FA Cup on Saturday.

United are now only two points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, who are scheduled to play their game in hand against reigning champions Manchester City on Thursday.

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