Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saluted Anthony Martial's improved killer instinct after his hat-trick fired Manchester United to a 3-0 win over Sheffield United on Wednesday.

Martial struck twice in the first half and completed his first senior treble after the interval at Old Trafford.

The France forward is the first United player to score a Premier League hat-trick since Alex Ferguson retired as their manager in 2013.

His heroics stole the spotlight from United team-mate Paul Pogba, who was making his first start since September 30.

Solskjaer's side, unbeaten in their last 13 games in all competitions, remain in fifth place, but they are now just two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who face Manchester City on Thursday.

United's first win since the coronavirus hiatus was well deserved and Solskjaer suggested Martial's role in it was down to hard work on the training ground.

"Very happy for Anthony. The third goal was a great goal, but for me the first and the second were better," he said.

"He's in the box, ready to go. We have worked on that, getting in the box in that situation more often.

"At the near post he showed composure. The first goal was vital, the way he turns and gets himself into a position to score from the cross.

"I'm very pleased with that. He's in good form."

Martial's clinical finishing ensured United built on Friday's draw at Tottenham, but Pogba's confident return in his 10th appearance of an injury-ravaged campaign was also encouraging for Solskjaer.

Pogba came off the bench to deliver an influential cameo against Tottenham, winning the penalty that Bruno Fernandes converted.

Once again, he linked up well with Fernandes, the Portugal midfielder who has been a big hit since his January move from Sporting Lisbon, but there will be much sterner tests than the one posed by Chris Wilder's limp side.

"I thought we controlled the game. Paul and Bruno showed some quality and it's exciting for us to be working with talent like this," Solskjaer said.

"At times it was very good football. We could and should have scored more goals."

The Blades have failed to score in their first three games since the restart and their hopes of a fairytale run to Champions League qualification are fading.

"We have got to find an answer from somewhere. We looked pretty tired," Wilder said.

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