Martial nets two as Man United tops Southampton

There were those who questioned the money that Manchester United spent to acquire Anthony Martial, but the striker is proving all his doubters wrong with a pair of goals on Sunday and three in two league games.

SOUTHAMPTON, England — At this rate, Anthony Martial is starting to look like a bargain.

Martial continued to repay the hefty fee Manchester United paid Monaco for him by scoring twice to spearhead a 3-2 win over Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday. Martial became the most expensive teenager ever in a deal that raised eyebrows on deadline day, but now has three goals in two league games.

"I have to say he is doing great," United manager Louis Van Gaal said. "He has the talent for it but when you are 19, you cannot expect consistency. Mostly they shall have dips. So that, I expect, but that is not a big problem for me. He has adapted to the system, that is important."

Watch match highlights: Tottenham 1, Crystal Palace 0 || Liverpool 1, Norwich City 1 || Southampton 2, Manchester United 3 ||

Danny Ings scored his first goal for Liverpool but couldn’t prevent his team from extending its winless streak in the league to four games after a 1-1 draw against Norwich at Anfield — despite Daniel Sturridge returning after a lengthy injury layoff. In the day’s early game, Son Heung-min netted his first league goal to give Tottenham a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

At St. Mary’s stadium, United had to come from behind after a strike by Graziano Pelle, but Martial equalized with his first chance in the 34th minute. Juan Mata lost the ball when he was tackled by Maya Yoshida and Martial capitalized, spinning strongly away from Virgil van Dijk before slotting a shot past Maarten Stekelenburg.

Five minutes into the second half, Martial was gifted his second.

Yoshida drastically under-hit a pass back to his goalkeeper and Martial collected the ball. Stekelenburg rushed out, but Martial was clinical and threaded the ball into the far corner.

David De Gea made a spectacular one-handed save from Jose Fonte’s header to deny Southampton an equalizer, and Mata extended United’s lead by converting a rebound after Memphis Depay hit the post.

Pelle pulled one back for Southampton, but De Gea helped United hold on with another good save from Victor Wanyama. The win puts United in second place, two points behind Manchester City.

Liverpool is only 13th after a strong start to the season has petered out worryingly for Brendan Rodgers’ side. Rodgers was able to name to start Sturridge for the first time this season alongside Christian Benteke, but the team was left ruing an error by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

His failure to punch a corner to safety led to Norwich’s equalizer through Russell Martin in the 61st minute. Martin was playing despite having travelled back to Norwich overnight to witness the birth of his child.

Benteke lasted 45 minutes alongside Sturridge before being replaced by Ings at halftime due to a tight hamstring.

It took Ings three minutes to get on the scoresheet before Norwich captain Martin scored with a deft lob over Mignolet.

Rodgers took Sturridge off two minutes later for Adam Lallana and Liverpool were unable to break through Norwich again.

"It is disappointing and frustrating not to get the three points," Rodgers said. "We didn’t pass the ball well in the first half but second half we created more opportunities. We had chances to win the game but didn’t take them."

Liverpool has eight points from six games — having earned just two in its last four.

Son scored the decisive goal at White Hart Lane in the 68th with a low shot under Palace goalkeeper Alex McCarthy. The South Korea forward now has three goals in four days after a double in the Europa League on Thursday.

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