A true Martial debut

Christian Benteke had just halved United’s two-goal lead with a sensational overhead bicycle kick when Anthony Martial picked the ball up wide on the left, tip-toed between three defenders and tucked a shot into the bottom-right corner in front of the Stretford End.

Manchester United's Anthony Martial scores past Liverpool's Simon Mignolet.   -  AP

Liverpool's Christian Benteke (aerial) scores a beauty.   -  AP

Everton's Steven Naismith scored a hat-trick against Chelsea.   -  REUTERS

Anthony Martial scored a memorable debut goal as Manchester United beat old enemies Liverpool 3-1 at Old Trafford to claim second place in the Premier League table.

The 19-year-old French striker, who signed from Monaco on transfer deadline day for a reported initial fee of GBP36 million, making him the world's most expensive teenager, was quick to make his mark after coming on as a substitute for Juan Mata.

Christian Benteke had just halved United’s two-goal lead with a sensational overhead bicycle kick when Martial picked the ball up wide on the left, tip-toed between three defenders and tucked a shot into the bottom-right corner in front of the Stretford End.

Second-half goals from Daley Blind and Ander Herrera had put United in control and Martial’s strike provided the perfect finale to an evening that had begun with David de Gea returning to the United goal following the collapse of his move to Real Madrid.

Victory saw Louis van Gaal’s side return to winning ways following their 2-1 defeat at Swansea City and left them in second place, above Arsenal on goal difference and five points below leaders Manchester City. Benteke’s breath-taking goal had briefly given Liverpool hope, but instead manager Brendan Rodgers was left to reflect on a second successive defeat following their 3-0 loss at home to West Ham United.

Wayne Rooney returned to Manchester this week having created a piece of history in mid-week by scoring a record-breaking 50th England goal, but he was ruled out by an injury, so Marouane Fellaini started up front with Martial on the bench.

There were cheers for de Gea as he took his place in goal and the Spaniard was given a gentle re-introduction to life at Old Trafford as United immediately put the visitors on the back foot.

It was from a mistake by de Gea’s opposite number, Simon Mignolet, that United’s best first-half chance stemmed, the Belgian bowling the ball straight at Mata, but although the ball fell kindly at Fellaini’s feet, the former Everton midfielder chipped well over.

United made a change at the interval, Ashley Young replacing Memphis Depay, and the substitute was quick to make his presence felt, darting between two Liverpool defenders on the left and winning a free-kick that yielded the opening goal.

Blind strikes

Mata rolled the set-piece to the edge of the box and with Bastian Schweinsteiger blocking off Nathaniel Clyne at the near post, Blind had the freedom of the penalty area to pick his spot.

It had been a stress-free return for de Gea up to that point, but he found himself in the firing line as the hour-mark approached. First, his scuffed kick let in Roberto Firmino, whose low cross towards Benteke was alertly cut out by Chris Smalling, before a volley from Danny Ings.

Shortly after, Blind came to United’s rescue, clearing Martin Skrtel’s header off his own goal-line and then flying out to thwart Firmino when the ball came back into the box.

Martial magic

Martial made his United bow in the 65th minute, replacing Mata, and within five minutes the home side had doubled their lead. Referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot after Liverpool’s teenage left-back Joe Gomez recklessly slid in on Herrera and the Spaniard slammed home the penalty. Jordon Ibe’s introduction enlivened Liverpool, the 19-year-old extending de Gea with a left-foot strike and then teeing up Benteke’s spectacular goal with a deflected cross from the right. But barely a minute later Martial stole everyone's thunder, slaloming into the box from wide on the left to give the United faithful a new hero to serenade.

City wins again

Manchester City produced a 90th-minute winner to beat Crystal Palace 1-0 and secure a fifth consecutive victory from as many matches, while champion Chelsea slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Everton that sealed its worst start in the Premier League.

City’s 18-year-old Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench in the 89th and poked the ball into the Palace net a minute later. The Nigerian forward played competitively for City only once before, and that, too, was as an 89th-minute substitute, against Watford in August.

The game also witnessed a promising debut for club record signing Kevin de Bruyne from the bench, albeit after striker Sergio Aguero left the pitch with what seemed a worrying injury.

Aguero later took to Twitter to allay fears over his fitness, saying: “Thanks everyone for your concern. I got a hard hit and it prevented me from playing more. It doesn’t seem to be a serious injury though.”

Arsenal guns Stoke

After some mediocre early season form, Arsenal dominated Stoke at Emirates Stadium and could easily have won by a tennis score.

Instead, just two goals from strikers Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud sealed the points.

Watford won its first league match of the season, 1-0 over Swansea, despite being reduced to 10 men. Striker Odion Ighalo scored in the 59th but five minutes later Valon Behrami was sent off for a violent tackle on Andre Ayew.

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