Lisandro Martinez saw his 25th birthday ruined by Manchester United conceding a late equaliser at Crystal Palace.

The World Cup winning defender had given everything for the cause, suffering an elbow in the first half which went unpunished by the referee.

Martinez was bandaged up and played on, and it all looked like being worth it, with United set for three points until Michael Olise’s injury-time free-kick.

Still this may end up being seen as a point gained, at the end of the season, and Martinez certainly played his part.

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Crystal Palace v Manchester United - Premier League
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Martinez deserved more

Martinez was one of Manchester United’s most effective players, renewing his partnership with World Cup final opponent Raphael Varane, for the first time since the tournament.

The duo looked like they hadn’t been apart, with Martinez in particular putting in an industrious defensive display, even if he was booked for his efforts.

The Argentine made 13 ball recoveries and six clearances, winning two tackles, blocking a shot and making one interception.

He won seven duels, including two in the air, however, this was a game where his quality on the ball really came to the fore.

Martinez had 106 touches in total, making more passes (85) than any player on the pitch, at an 89 per cent completion rate.

He was confident striding out from defence with the ball, dribbling past two opponents, and created two goalscoring chances with his incisive balls forward.

This was the type of display why Erik ten Hag bought Martinez. He adds to United’s game on the ball, in addition to being rock solid defensively.

It was always going to take something special to breach United’s defence. When Palace did get through, David de Gea was equal to it, until their last gasp free-kick.

Erik ten Hag has a big decision this weekend when United visit Arsenal. Martinez stated his case well last night, but with so many centre-back options, nobody’s place is guaranteed.

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