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CHRIS SUTTON: Man United’s Lisandro Martinez is being targeted

CHRIS SUTTON: It’s no surprise that 5ft 9in centre back Lisandro Martinez is being targeted and Man United’s £55m summer signing had a torrid evening at Brentford… proving size DOES matter!

  • Manchester United were thrashed by Brentford on Saturday evening
  • Summer signing Lisandro Martinez had a particularly difficult game for United
  • He was targeted by Ivan Toney, and could not contain the Brentford striker
  • Martinez was hauled off at half time after United conceded four first half goals
  • His disastrous start at United shows that size does matter in the Premier League 

Size matters (sometimes). When I was facing a team, I’d choose a centre back to target, maybe after looking down at him in the tunnel. 

Wimbledon’s Chris Perry, although he had a good spring, was 5ft 9in. I was 6ft 4in and scored against them in October 1997. There was a long ball, I beat Perry in the air, leaving him on his backside, and scored to secure a 1-0 win for Blackburn. Job done. 

It’s natural, and that’s why opponents have been targeting Manchester United’s 5ft 9in centre back Lisandro Martinez

Lisandro Martinez endured a difficult evening against Brentford on Saturday

Lisandro Martinez endured a difficult evening against Brentford on Saturday

It looked like he was deliberately targeted by Ivan Toney, and Martinez came off second best

It looked like he was deliberately targeted by Ivan Toney, and Martinez came off second best

Brighton did it last weekend, abandoning their usual plan of playing out from the back to send long balls towards Martinez. Brentford saw that and targeted him, too, feeling it was a weak link they could expose.

It’s smart. It’s streetwise. You’ll take advantage of your opponents any way you can.

Like how Brentford striker Ivan Toney targeted Ben White at the start of last season on his Arsenal debut. Toney beat up White in that 2-0 win. 

Toney did the same thing against Arsenal's Ben White at the start of last season

Toney did the same thing against Arsenal’s Ben White at the start of last season

If you feel you can get the better of someone, why wouldn’t you use that? Martinez was one of three men hooked at half-time by Erik ten Hag on Saturday — the ultimate humiliation for a footballer — and it’s been a rough welcome to the Premier League for him. 

After seeing Martinez dominated individually, other strikers will be targeting him now. I know I would.

Although we have to say, it would be unfair to lay the blame entirely on Martinez. Not a single player in Ten Hag’s team has come out of the last two defeats with any credit. 

There was only one shower across the country on Saturday and that was Manchester United.

Man United could not cope as they were thrashed by Brentford - their second straight defeat

Man United could not cope as they were thrashed by Brentford – their second straight defeat

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