Lisandro Martinez was instrumental in Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Leeds United.
Erik ten Hag’s side struggled to keep up with the pace of the game.
The hosts were aggressive and pressed United’s midfield into making mistakes.
United’s main issue was their inability to play out from the back.
Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw were often clueless about where to pass.
Leeds cut down all the passing lanes, and without a natural number six there was no one to drop deep and take the ball off the back four.
Ten Hag decided to bring on Martinez late in the second half to give United a platform from which to progress the ball.
United instantly gained control of the game and created a few chances.
Lisandro Martinez in 29 minutes vs. Leeds:
88% pass accuracy
30/34 passes completed
3/3 tackles won
3/3 ground duels won
2/3 long balls completed
2 ball recoveries
The Butcher. 😤🔪 pic.twitter.com/ogDIQQBjxp
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 12, 2023
Martinez is one of the best ball-playing defenders in the world.
He is extremely intelligent and progresses the ball quickly into the midfield.
Martinez is almost like having a midfielder in defence. His vision and passing range are unmatched.
Many United fans were surprised at Ten Hag’s call of benching him.
The manager wanted to rotate effectively to avoid any strain and injuries due to a long and gruelling schedule.
United will miss Martinez in the Europa League playoff match against Barcelona due to suspension.