Aston Villa forward Leon Bailey believes Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez was let off the hook at Villa Park yesterday.
Our aggressive Argentinian centre-back will likely be the first to admit that the pacey former Bayer Leverkusen winger was difficult to contain.
Villa’s number 31 opened the scoring in yesterday’s 3-1 win for the home side in Unai Emery’s first game in charge of the Villains.
The Jamaican international, who has pace to burn, showcased his blistering speed by getting away from United’s number six and smashing the ball past David de Gea into the bottom corner after seven minutes.
While Manchester United had one of those afternoons to forget, Bailey had one of his best performances for Villa since making the big money switch from Bundesliga last summer.
Leon Bailey comments on the rough treatment he received from Lisandro Martinez
United’s number six plays on the edge and it’s his no-nonsense and all-action game, as well as his quality with the ball at his feet, that has endeared himself to the Old Trafford faithful since following Erik ten Hag to Manchester from Ajax.
But with Bailey causing problems, Martinez as he always does wanted to lay down a marker to the Villa forward.
There were a couple of incidents between the pair, one of which left the Jamaican gasping for air off the pitch after Martinez had shepherded the ball out for a United goal kick.
United’s South American defender felt Bailey was play acting, but the Villa goalscorer has taken to Twitter to express his dismay at the referees for not spotting Martinez elbowing him twice in his rib.
Martinez looked tired on his first appearance in Birmingham, but the 24-year-old has started 18 of 19 games this season.
Ten Hag may decide to give the nine-time Argentina international a night off when Villa come to the Theatre of Dreams on Thursday for a Carabao Cup third-round tie.
But if he doesn’t, Martinez may face Bailey once again, which will certainly be a battle to keep an eye on following yesterday’s encounter.