Manchester United are through to the quarterfinals of the Europa League after weathering an early first-half storm from Real Betis and beating the Spanish side in a 1-0 victory at the Benito Villamarín Stadium.
United’s sole goalscorer was Marcus Rashford.
Rashford scored a brilliant goal from long range to effectively shatter any hopes Betis ahead of causing a historic upset at United’s expense.
While the Englishman will likely take the praise for his all-important goal, an unsung hero was Lisandro Martinez.
Martinez started at the heart of United’s defence where he partnered Harry Maguire.
The Argentine’s usual partner in crime, Raphael Varane, started on the bench.
Martinez won 100% of his tackles during the time he was on the pitch, before being taken off for Victor Lindelof.
The World Cup winner had a 93% pass accuracy to his name and 50 touches of the ball.
Primarily United’s main ball progressor from the back, Martinez completed 27 passes.
Out of the four long balls he attempted in his efforts to try and find his teammates, the 25-year-old was successful on three occasions.
Martinez made three crucial interceptions and emerged successful in two of his duels on the ground.
On United’s way to keeping a clean sheet, Martinez blocked one shot.
Lisandro Martinez’s game by numbers vs. Real Betis:
100% tackles won
93% pass accuracy
27 passes completed
3/4 long balls completed
2 ground duels won
0 goals conceded
Solid as usual. 🌟 pic.twitter.com/qQrZLUTAJs
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 16, 2023
During instances in which Betis were venturing forward and looking to find the back of the net, Martinez was immense. He showed why even when Erik ten Hag chops and changes at the back, he remains the constant feature. A credit to him is that, regardless of who plays next to him, Martinez still shines and makes those around him better.