Why Erik ten Hag substituted Lisandro Martinez against Arsenal


    Lisandro Martinez put in another excellent performance for Man Utd
    Lisandro Martinez put in another excellent performance for Man Utd (Picture: Getty)

    Lisandro Martinez was substituted as a precaution during the closing stages of Manchester United’s win over Arsenal on Sunday.

    After a difficult start to his Red Devils career, the summer signing from Ajax has quickly established himself as a cult hero and is making a mockery of the concerns over his lack of height.

    Martinez put in a dominant display at the heart of United’s defence against the Gunners, who were themselves interested in signing the defender from Ajax during the transfer window.

    The 24-year-old was, however, taken off with 10 minutes remaining and replaced by club captain Harry Maguire with United looking to maintain their 3-1 lead.

    According to TyC Sport, Martinez was suffering from a slight abductor injury but is likely to be in contention to feature in United’s next Premier League match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

    Such has been his improvement over the last few weeks, meanwhile, that former United midfielder Paul Scholes believes Martinez should already be considered indispensable.

    Arsenal dominated long periods of Sunday’s absorbing contest but Martinez played a key role in limiting Mikel Arteta’s side to a handful of clear-cut chances.

    Lisandro Martinez is quickly becoming a cult figure at Old Trafford
    Lisandro Martinez is quickly becoming a cult figure at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

    The Arsenal manager felt his side deserved to emerge from Old Trafford with at least a point but Scholes insisted Arsenal’s domination of possession represented a meaningless statistic.

    He said: ‘I go back to possession where Mikel Arteta’s saying he’s in control of the game with his interview there. It doesn’t matter.

    ‘There are so many teams in these big games where they come away from Old Trafford a lot of times in big games wondering how have we not won, we’ve played great.

    ‘At United it’s about the determination more than anything you know the talent is there but it’s about getting up to people, stopping people, getting up to people being solid at the back.

    ‘Having that solid back four now is helping them. Martinez coming out of that might be a worry going forward.’

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