Lisandro Martinez

Martinez returns after long lay-off

Monday 15 January 2024 09:30

Lisandro Martinez returned to the Manchester United side after a four-month injury lay-off, during the Reds' 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.

Erik ten Hag's men had to make do with a point in our first league game of 2024, despite twice taking the lead.

Rasmus Hojlund got us off to a flyer with a thumping effort after three minutes and, following Richarlison's headed equaliser, Marcus Rashford made it 2-1 with a composed finish as he took advantage of a neat one-two with the Dane.

But Rodrigo Bentancur smashed home just 50 seconds into the second half and, despite further chances for both sides, it ended level - only our second league draw of the season.

Report: United 2 Tottenham 2


United's first home outing of 2024 resulted in an entertaining draw against the north Londoners.

Bar the goals, the loudest moment of the afternoon came when Martinez replaced Jonny Evans on 63 minutes.

It was a difficult 2023 for Licha, who, prior to today, had made just six further competitive appearances after fracturing his metatarsal against Sevilla on 13 April.

The Argentinian World Cup winner did return for pre-season, and the opening stages of this campaign, but suffered a recurrence of the problem which required further surgery, keeping him out until now.

Our no.6 endeared himself hugely to the home faithful during 2022/23, and there was a standing ovation to greet him back.

Martinez arrived on the pitch with the visitors well on top but helped the Reds gain more control in the game, winning several individual battles with Richarlison and, overall, looking as if he had never been away.

Licha clearly appreciated the support, taking to X to post the following after the game: “Proud of the reception I got from the fans, I really love you.

“Not the result we wanted, but we battled hard until the end. We'll work together for more!”

With two weeks until our next game, the hope is that more players can make a comeback after injury soon and, indeed, Casemiro was an unused substitute on Sunday.

The Brazilian hasn't featured since 1 November due to a hamstring injury but he has been training regularly with the group in recent weeks and his own return surely isn't far off.