MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Manchester United’s forward Anthony Martial scored his third goal of the pre-season as they eased past Crystal Palace 3-1 in a friendly on Tuesday.
The win in front of a heaving crowd of 76,499 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground continued new manager Erik ten Hag’s bright start following a 4-1 victory over Melbourne Victory and 4-0 romp against Liverpool in Bangkok last week.
France striker Martial, who was loaned to Sevilla in the January transfer window, netted his first in the 17th minute and has now scored in all three matches on the Asian tour.
He also had a hand in both second half goals for Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho before Palace pulled one back late on when Joel Ward headed in from a corner, catching goalkeeper David de Gea napping.
With Cristiano Ronaldo excused from the tour due to a family issue, Martial has been United’s main threat up front, partnering well with Sancho and Rashford.
Martial was denied in the 10th minute by a fine save from Jack Butland but the Palace goalkeeper suffered a thumb injury blocking the shot and had to come off.
Butland’s replacement Remi Mathews could do nothing to stop Martial soon after when the unmarked Frenchman chested down a Diogo Dalot cross at the far post and fired in from close range.
Both teams triggered a raft of substitutions after the hour-mark, allowing Palace to eventually rally for Ward’s goal.
United played the last few minutes with 10 men after 19-year-old substitute defender Will Fish, drafted late onto the tour, was given a red card for dragging down Victor Akinwale just outside the penalty area.
United, who finished sixth in the Premier League last season and failed to qualify for the Champions League, wrap up their Australian tour with a friendly against Aston Villa in Perth on Saturday.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Ken Ferris)