Lisandro Martinez in TEARS after injury as two Sevilla stars – his Argentinian friends – carry him away in a touching gesture
LISANDRO MARTINEZ was in tears after being carried off the pitch by two Sevilla stars as Manchester United suffered a late meltdown against Sevilla.
The Red Devils were on course for a win against the Spaniards thanks to Marcel Sabitzer’s brace in the first half of the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals.
But Sevilla snagged a setback in the closing stages when Tyrell Malacia converted a retract from Jesus Navas’ cross into his own net.
There was more bad news, however, as United suffered a serious injury blow when key centre-back Martinez pulled up with no one around.
The World Cup winner immediately grabbed the back of his ankle despite there being no other contact.
But before a stretcher could even get onto the pitch, his Argentinian compatriots Marcos Acuna and Seville’s Gonzalo Montiel picked him up and carried him to the sidelines.
Martinez was then placed on a stretcher and taken back to the dressing room, forcing United to end the game with ten men after all of their substitutes had been fielded.
And shortly after, things got even worse for United as another own goal, this time courtesy of Harry Maguire, saw Sevilla draw 2-2 to return to Spain.
When asked if Martinez had an Achilles injury, United manager Erik ten Hag said: “No, it’s not the area.
“But I can’t tell what it is. But it’s not Achilles’ territory.
Most read in the Europa League
HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON SOCCER
“We have very good substitutes in Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw, so we have players who can replace them. But of course it’s a failure.
“I think he won’t play on Sunday. It looks like it but I can’t say what the diagnosis is and I prefer to wait and then we’ll be clear and we’ll know exactly what it is.
“I spoke to him, he’s okay, he’s calm. Of course, and we compete in three competitions and then you need a squad.
“So if Licha Martinez, Rapha Varane aren’t available on Sunday, others have to be.
“We saw Harry Maguire played a good game on Saturday and he came in tonight and played a good game too.
“I have an idea what we can play on Sunday, but first we have to see tomorrow and talk to the doctor, see who left the game and then we have a plan and then we will put a good team on the pitch .”
Ten Hag didn’t rule out Marcus Rashford’s potential return due to an apparent groin strain in the second leg: “There’s a chance but I can’t confirm it at the moment.”
The expected absence of Martinez will cause another major headache for Boss Ten Hag.
His partner in central defence, Raphael Varane, came off at half-time and was replaced by Maguire after suffering a stroke.
Influential midfield maestro Bruno Fernandes will also be absent for next week’s second leg.
He was booked hard for handball in the first half – prompting an angry reaction from United legends and fans alike.