“Well, both came up trumps against Liverpool” – Garth Crooks names Manchester United star who surprised him along with Erik ten Hag during 2-1 win

BBC pundit Garth Crooks was surprised by the performance put in by Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez during their 2-1 win over Liverpool on Monday, August 22.

Crooks stated that Martinez had a much-improved outing from his disappointing performance against Brentford. The pundit also credited Erik ten Hag’s brave decision to bench regulars like Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo and instead keep his faith in Martinez.

Crooks also believes that Lisandro Martinez looks settled in the Premier League following his commanding display against Liverpool at Old Trafford. The pundit selected Martinez in defense for his weekly team-of-the-week column.

Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Garth Crooks stated:

“I questioned recently whether Erik Ten Hag had what it takes to manage Manchester United and I was scathing about the performance of Lisandro Martinez against Brentford.”

He added:

“Well, both came up trumps against Liverpool. Ten Hag showed real metal to leave out Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo and instead invested in youth, while Martinez looked like a centre-back who had finally come to terms with the physicality of the Premier League.

Crooks also believes Liverpool haven’t been the same team this season as defeat to Manchester United piles on more misery. He said:

“As for Liverpool they were not at their best and haven’t been this season. It’s early days but United have lift off.”

Lisandro Martínez vs Liverpool:100% successful dribbles 82% pass accuracy 41 touches 5 final third passes 5 long balls 3 ball recoveries 7 clearances 1 block [@StatmanDave]

Lisandro Martinez was the marquee summer signing for the Red Devils the to kick start the Erik ten Hag era. The Argentine defender arrived from Ajax for a fee of around £53 million.

Martinez looked solid in defense alongside an experienced Raphael Varane. The Argentine international showed the physical side of his game and also made a few hard tackles to deny Liverpool in attack.

Manchester United will have more defensive stability in the coming weeks

Despite not managing to keep a clean sheet, Manchester United were defensively sound against Liverpool. However, there could be further improvements in the coming weeks following the arrival of Casemiro.

The Brazilian midfielder was unveiled as a United player in front of a packed Old Trafford prior to kick-off. Casemiro is a renowned defensive midfielder, something Manchester United have lacked over the last few seasons.

Erik ten Hag’s side will next travel to the south coast of England to face Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday, August 27. United will want to carry their new-found momentum to the Saint Mary’s Stadium.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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