Roy Keane has praised Lisandro Martinez for the “pride” he showed while defending in Manchester United’s win over Nottingham Forest.
Erik ten Hag’s side traveled to the City Ground for a potentially tricky clash at the City Ground, but the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final turned out to be a comfortable night for United, who lost 3-0.
Keane was delighted with the Argentine’s performance on the night and his overall defensive presence since joining in the summer, saying Martinez is the type of player you’d want in the trenches with.
The former United and Forest midfielder said sky sports: “He is proud of his defense, which is great to see. Many modern defenders know it’s about what they do in possession. He wants to defend, he is very proud of it.
Keane added: “You need that balance, it’s really important. Harry Maguire when he plays on the left side when he’s right-handed, it’s very difficult.
“Obviously the manager has worked with him, we talk about that character, that desire. We’ve already seen the benefits of having him at the club over the past few months.
“He wants to defend. He looks like the right character, the kind of boy you want to be in the trenches with. We saw it tonight, United were rolling towards the end but they still wanted to defend.
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“We talk about the importance of scoring all three goals but from a defender’s perspective they will be delighted with a clean sheet.”
Martinez himself was pleased with United’s performance on the road, with the Red Devils now closing in on Wembley.
“I’m really happy with the guys’ work,” he told Sky. “We played so well today and we controlled the game. We lost the last game so we had to produce now and as a team we did.
“We know [Forest] did a great job, but we never gave up. Today we won the game and that’s the most important thing. You can see that when we do the right things, we don’t concede goals.
“We controlled the game but we still have a lot of things to improve and we have to keep going. I’m really happy because we showed discipline and I saw [for] the whole game we were pretty focused. We always have to play like this, keep going and keep fighting.
“We know it’s a good result for us, but we have to take it step by step.”
Martinez’s statistics of the game prove how good he is as he has made the most tackles, the most interceptions of anyone on the pitch. He also won possession nine times.
Lisandro Martinez v Nottingham Forest
Statistics provided by Squakwa
Most keys (119)
Most assists (103)
Most successful tackles (5)
Most interceptions (2)
9 x possession gained
8 duels won
6 assists in the final third
3 aerial duels won
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