Lisandro Martinez answered his critics by delivering a Man of the Match performance in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool.
The Argentine centre-back came under the spotlight after United’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford. He was partly blamed for the Bees’ third goal, with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher ruling that he’s too short to succeed in the Premier League.
In the very next game, against Carragher’s former club Liverpool, Martinez brought on his A game, and showed why Erik ten Hag trusted him so much in Amsterdam and spent big to bring him to Manchester.
In the absence of Harry Maguire, Martinez took charge of progressing the ball from the back. Out of possession, his intense approach during duels set the tone early in the game and showed Liverpool attackers it’s not going to be easy like their last Old Trafford visit.
U N I T E D!! 💪🏼🔴
Great team & fighting spirit, only the first step but an important one to keep growing stronger together.
— Lisandro Martinez (@LisandrMartinez) August 22, 2022
Would like Jamie Carragher’s apology to Martinez to be as loud as his disrespect
— Casey Evans (@Casey_Evans_) August 22, 2022
Scapegoated and ridiculed for no reason. “Not tall enough”, “not ready for the PL”, “lacks the physicality.”
When you play with the heart of a lion, block shots like a brick wall, and clear every single cross, height is just a number.
The Butcher puts in a MOTM performance. pic.twitter.com/L4iqM95V6N
— EiF (@EiFSoccer) August 22, 2022
Anyone mentioned Martinez’s height today? 😮💨
— Joe Thomlinson (@joethomlinson) August 22, 2022
I’ll be telling the grandkids about that Lisandro Martinez performance
— ‘ (@vintageredss) August 22, 2022
We should have asked €200M for Lisandro Martínez.
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) August 22, 2022
Lisandro Martinez’s game by numbers vs. Liverpool:
100% successful dribbles
82% pass accuracy
5 final third passes
5 long balls
3 ball recoveries
Phenomenal game. 🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/yHcJOItUp9
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 22, 2022
Ten Hag, who hooked the 24-year-old at half-time against Brentford, deserves credit for starting him in such a high-pressure game.
Martinez’s partner in defence Raphael Varane was also rock solid against Liverpool. His experience and leadership at the back really helped Martinez as well as Tyrell Malacia.
If the Frenchman can remain fit, Maguire might struggle to get back into United’s starting XI.