Legendary goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has criticised Manchester United’s players for allowing Lisandro Martinez to be carried off the pitch by two Sevilla stars during their Europa League quarter-final first leg.
Martinez went down injured in the 86th minute at Old Trafford and was helped off the field by international teammates Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel.
It appeared to be a class act from the Argentine stars, but Schmeichel saw the situation differently.
While the general consensus was that Acuna and Montiel were trying their best to help Martinez, Schmeichel believes their intention was just to get play re-started as quickly as possible.
“It looks like Sevilla players are nice carrying him off the pitch. No, they wanted him out so they could get going,” he said.
“They have got Man United where they want them and carrying him off doesn’t stop their momentum.”
The former Red Devils shot-stopper also stressed that United’s players should have stopped the two Sevilla stars and even slammed Harry Maguire for his lack of leadership.
“United’s players should have stopped that, that’s a lack of leadership on the pitch. Harry Maguire should have managed that situation,” he emphasised.
VIDEO: Peter Schmeichel slams Man United players for actions vs Sevilla
It’s now been confirmed that the 25-year-old will miss the rest of the season with a fractured metatarsal bone in his foot.
“Everyone at Manchester United sends Lisandro and Rapha our best wishes for a speedy recovery,” a statement from the club read.
The news comes as a huge blow for Erik ten Hag’s side, who are still fighting for two trophies this season.
To compound matters, United’s other first-choice centre-back, Raphael Varane, also sustained an injury against Sevilla and is expected to be out for a few weeks.
It leaves Ten Hag with a tough decision when it comes to deciding on a makeshift centre-back pairing.
Does he trust the duo of Maguire and Victor Lindelof, who have proven themselves to be unreliable – or will he opt to play Luke Shaw in the middle, as he has done on various occasions this year?
Speaking before United’s league game against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, the Dutchman said: “We have a lot of decent centre-halves. We have proved in the past and in this season that we have four or five very good centre-halves who can do the job.”
Aside from their defensive problems, United are also without their top scorer Marcus Rashford, who sustained a muscle injury against Everton last Saturday.