Anthony Martial scored a fine hat-trick as Manchester United brushed aside Sheffield United 3-0 in the Premier League encounter at Old Trafford on Thursday night to boost their Champions League qualification hopes.

Two first-half goals from Martial sealed the victory in the first behind-closed-doors fixture at Old Trafford before he added the third late on to become the first Manchester United player to score a hat trick in the Premier League since Robin van Persie in April 2013.

However, Manchester United dominated from start to finish with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes starting together for the first time.

Martial turned in from close-range at the near post from Marcus Rashford’s drilled low cross from the right after seven minutes, the earliest scored in a Premier League game since it resumed earlier this month.

And he added a second in the 44th minute in similar circumstances when he converted expertly from Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s pass.

Rashford was on hand to lay on the third as Martial completed his hat trick with another well-taken close-range finish. His 14th Premier League goal of the season and 19th in all competitions.

Soon after, Red Devils coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made five substitutions in one go, introducing Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, Scott McTominay, Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira with Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford and Martial making way.

The hosts missed several chances to add to their tally as Ighalo was denied by Moore and the lively Wan-Bissaka dragged his shot from 10 meters wide of the far post.

Manchester United will take on Norwich in their next fixture on Saturday, while Sheffield United who are yet to score a goal since the Premier League’s return host Arsenal on Sunday

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