Lisandro Martinez’s substitution by Erik ten Hag yesterday as Manchester United chased the game against Newcastle did not go down well with the player nor with the fans.
Martinez was subbed in the 83rd minute along with United’s other centre back, Raphael Varane.
Victor Lindelof was brought on to replace them both as United went three at the back, with Facundo Pellistri the other sub.
Lisandro was visibly angry at the sub and was caught on camera thumping the chair in the dugout.
— A-n-t-o-n-y S-p-i-n 🎠 (@AntonyyOOC) April 3, 2023
The gamble did not pay off as Lindelof was outjumped moments later by Callum Wilson to kill the game.
After the game Ten Hag explained (via The MEN) that “you try to save the game, to go one-against-one in the back, bring off your two centre halves, bring a fresh one in, who can defend with space on his back and bring an extra player in offence with Pellistri.”
Going three at the back is one thing, but taking off the player who had arguably been your best throughout the game is something that aroused criticism from pundits such as Gary Neville.
“Since the two centre backs went off it has been a mess, I didn’t like it,” Neville said (also via The MEN).
“I never see one centre back working, it very rarely does. Shaw is playing as a second centre-back anyway, you might as well have a proper one in there.”
Lisandro’s stats for the game had been excellent up until that point.
The Argentine had registered 81% pass accuracy, won 5 ground duels,4 tackles, played 4 long balls and completed 3 clearances, 2 blocks and 2 interceptions for an excellent all round performance in an otherwise gloomy United showing.
Lisandro Martinez’s game by numbers vs. Newcastle:
81% pass accuracy
5 ground duels won
4 tackles won
4 long balls completed
1/1 dribble completed
Another top class performance. 🔪 pic.twitter.com/3FnR0OSUro
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 2, 2023
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