Manchester United beat West Ham United with a comfortable 3-0 score line on Matchday 23 of the English Premier League Season in 2023/2024, but a major injury blow to their starting defender Lisandro Martínez marred the third straight victory in all competitions for the Red Devils. The 2022 FIFA World Cup-winning defender for Argentina Lisandro Martínez had to deal with an injury earlier this season and only made his comeback to the Manchester United squad recently, meaning the problem he suffered yesterday will further dampen his progress in the current year.
Lisandro Martínez Sidelined Again in 2023/2024
The 26-year-old Lisandro Martínez was replaced by veteran defender from France Raphaël Varane in the 71st minute during the Manchester United-West Ham United clash at Old Trafford yesterday, following a challenge by the Hammers’ right-back Vladimir Coufal at the sideline. Lisandro Martínez was in apparent pain after the tackle, since his leg was seen trapped by the defensive counterpart from Czech Republic.
Lisandro Martínez was arguably one of the best signings Erik ten Hag has made as the head coach of Manchester United, hence the player’s extensive absence during the early part of the 2023/2024 Season is one of the reasons why the Red Devils are not able to break into the top positions of the Premier League table or advance to the knockout round of the UEFA Champions League now. The injury Lisandro Martínez suffered late February kept him out for a long period of 105 days, and the Argentine defender only returned to action against Tottenham Hotspur in the league at home last month.
In the other side of Manchester, Manchester United’s archrivals Manchester City recently welcomed back their fit-again skipper Kevin De Bruyne to their squad, and the Belgium midfield maestro needed no time to bring his impact to the Cityzens upon his first game returning to the side. The player offered an assist to his younger compatriot Jérémy Doku in Manchester City’s 5-0 victory over Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup Third Round and you can click here for the full match details of Pep’s team’s demolition against the EFL Championship club.
🚨 Bad news for Manchester United as Erik ten Hag confirms “Lisandro Martínez injury does NOT look good”.
“Very bad for him, we wish Licha all the best”.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 4, 2024
How Did Manchester United Beat West Ham United at Old Trafford?
During that match that saw Lisandro Martínez limp off the pitch, Manchester United drew first blood before the half hour mark, thanks to their new summer signing Rasmus Højlund. The young Danish striker, who was also on the scoresheet in the 4-3 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers last time around, led United to lead first in the match by scoring just inside the penalty box in the 23rd minute, and the goal would serve as a perfect gift for his 21st birthday.
The Red Devils kept their 1-0 lead for a good 26 minutes, before another young forward Alejandro Garnacho doubled the advantage. The Argentine player received a decent long ball by his captain Bruno Fernandes, followed by him lashing a shot at the West Ham United goal. The effort was not a solid one, but it took a huge deflection off Nayef Aguerd and ended in the back of the net. Garnacho then sat on an advertising hoarding for the celebration of his first goal in the match, echoing the famous move done by his idol, former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus megastar Cristiano Ronaldo, in the past.
Lisandro Martínez was substituted towards the latter stage of the game, but this did not prevent United from putting an icing on the cake. With six minutes left in the normal playing time of 90 minutes, Garnacho completed his brace by capping off a superb counterattack that was started by Scott McTominay. The Scottish midfielder first intercepted the ball around the halfway line, before he charged forward and sent a pass to the out wide Garnacho, who then carefully placed the ball at the bottom left corner for United’s third goal of the evening, sealing the victory for the Lisandro Martínez-less side as a result.
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Ten Hag Confirmed Lisandro Martínez’s Injury Problem
Ten Hag, who celebrated his 54th birthday two days before United’s 3-0 win last night, shared his thoughts on Lisandro Martínez’s conditions after the West Ham United clash. “It doesn’t look good. There is a bad concern. We have to wait for a few days for the diagnosis. He is very sad, very disappointed. We all feel really with him. First of all, it is a personal disaster when it is really bad, but also for the team it is really bad because he definitely brings us a lot,” said the Dutch gaffer.
The Red Devils manager was defiant over criticisms he received prior to their three-game winning streak at the moment, saying “Yeah, but you didn’t believe me. No one. I have seen all your briefing but it’s not my job. I have to analyse; Clinical, calm. So, we are not a team in balance on the pitch, and then we can play better. Also, you see the progress is coming and we bought players in the summer for the future. We also make choices to give players who deserved it, to get opportunities in the first team, as Garnacho and Mainoo [Did]. But, as Mainoo in the second game against Madrid gets a real bad injury”.
“Hojlund, he had a period, came too late in, young, but you see he is progressing. And when there is a consistent team in his back with routines, they will serve him better, and they you see a frontline who’s in balance and I think it’s a threat for every opponent. And then, also, you see. They want to do the togetherness and the pitch covered a lot. I think the three youngsters celebrating together, and it’s not about one player, it’s about a team, and that is what I have seen today,” ten Hag did not forget to praise his players on their 3-0 resounding win over a top-half Premier League outfit like West Ham.
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