Despite being down to ten men for the majority of the game, Manchester United played out an entertaining goalless draw against Southampton on Sunday.
Casemiro was shown a straight red after VAR intervention ruled his tackle to be dangerous play. It was yet another decision that the referee and VAR gave against the Red Devils.
Despite the disadvantage, United were impressive in attack as the defence stood firm despite the end-to-end nature of the contest.
The Butcher shows his class
Lisandro Martinez produced more than a few touches of pure class as he evaded challenges to progress with the ball while at times, effectively beating the press with a sharp turn or body feint.
This can be best illustrated through statistics as the Argentine successfully completed a 100% of his attempted dribbles while having 67 touches of the ball.
Lisandro Martinez’s game by numbers vs. Southampton:
100% dribbles completed
100% aerial duels won
88% pass accuracy
9 ball recoveries
4/5 ground duels won
2/2 tackles won
Another clean sheet for The Butcher. 🔪 pic.twitter.com/G37fvKhlO6
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 12, 2023
His passing was crisp as usual as he more often than not found a teammate with his long balls while always managing to pass between the lines in an attempt to get United back on the front foot.
He completed the game with a pass accuracy rate of 88% while completing two long balls in the process.
The World Cup winner was shown an early yellow card by referee Antony Taylor for a body block and that might have forced other defenders to ease off.
United defence will need to be strong going forward
But not Martinez as he kept going hard into the tackles and made a couple of excellent covering runs to help his goalkeeper David de Gea.
The Argentina international won five out of six duels including all his aerial ones while winning a 100% of his tackles. Most impressive was his nine recoveries throughout the game.
The Butcher also made four clearances and a couple of interceptions as he and his fellow defenders — Raphael Varane, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw showed heart to keep United in the contest despite the man disadvantage.
He and Varane will need to be on top of their game in the coming weeks especially with no Casemiro to protect the backline due to his four-game suspension.
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