Watch: Lisandro Martinez somehow avoids red for blatant Salah elbow

Lisandro Martinez somehow avoided being sent off for elbowing Mohamed Salah during the first half of Manchester United’s match against Liverpool on Sunday.

There was a feeling that Martinez may struggle in the more physically demanding Premier League after his summer move from Ajax, but the 25-year-old quickly established himself as one of the most important players in Erik ten Hag’s squad.

Martinez has started 19 of Manchester United’s 24 Premier League games this season, helping the Red Devils emerge as surprise title contenders and win the EFL Cup.

“He’s phenomenal,” former Tottenham and England defender Michael Dawson said on Sky Sports. “I was one of those questioning how he would deal with the physicality of the Premier League.

“But he’s strong, he’s physical and he’s so brave. We knew he could pass the ball from Ajax but he’s composed, a World Cup winner, he puts his body on the line.

“He can do everything, he really, really can. It’s his bravery for me, that’s what I like.

“Man United have been under pressure in some games but he puts his body on the line and that’s his job. He’s been a great signing.”

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling also admitted he was wrong to doubt Martinez and says two of his team-mates at Old Trafford could learn a thing or two from the Argentinian.

“I need to hold my hands up as well, I was wrong about Lisandro Martinez,” Stelling said.

“He’s my height but what a ferocious competitor he is. He’s aggressive in the way that [Harry] Maguire and [Victor] Lindelof are not.”

But the World Cup winner was fortunate to stay on the field at Anfield after a first half elbow into Mohamed Salah.

The fact he apologised to his opponent suggested Martinez knew he was in the wrong. Very controversial.

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