Martinez was MUFC’s real hero vs Charlton

Manchester United booked their place in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup with a 3-0 win over League One side Charlton at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Erik ten Hag’s men made their way through to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory over fellow Premier League side Everton on Friday and are now in the last four of the EFL Cup.

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Antony opened the scoring for the Red Devils in the first half as he brilliantly cut inside onto his favoured left foot and bent in an exceptional effort into the far corner from outside of the box.

Marcus Rashford doubled the lead as he latched onto a pass from Facundo Pellistri before poking the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs.

The England international sealed the win in the fourth minute of stoppage time as he raced onto a delicate chipped pass from Casemiro before rifling a left-footed shot into the corner of the net.

Whilst Rashford may steal the headlines with his two late goals, continuing his rich vein of form in recent weeks, the real hero for United on the night was returning central defender Lisandro Martinez.

The Argentine international, who won the 2022 World Cup with his country in Qatar earlier this season, started in the heart of the defence alongside Harry Maguire and put in an exceptional performance.

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He was crucial to what Manchester United did on and off the ball throughout the match and ten Hag will surely have been left delighted by his display.

The £120k-per-week gem was dominant defensively on the deck for the Red Devils as he won four of his six ground duels, which shows that he dealt with the physical threat that the third tier outfit provided well.

Martinez also made seven clearances, one interception, and three tackles throughout the 90 minutes, as per Sofascore. These statistics show that he made a big impact at the back for the home side as he made a number of key interventions to stop Charlton from getting back into what was a tight game up until Rashford’s second goal in the 90th minute.

In possession, the former Ajax machine enjoyed 95 touches of the ball and completed 87% of his attempted passes, including six of his 11 longer passes.

Therefore, he was the real hero for United as his exceptional defensive work and reliability on the ball provided the platform that the likes of Antony and Rashford needed to go and finish the game off in the final third.