‘Top five centre-backs’ – Guardiola singles out Martinez following FA Cup final

Man City manager Pep Guardiola praised Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez on Saturday, stressing the centre-back “made the difference” in the FA Cup final.

The Reds won the FA Cup for the 13th time with a 2-1 victory over their rivals, thanks to first-half strikes from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo yet it was Martinez who was singled out in Guardiola’s post-match comments for impacting the game.

“Lisandro Martinez is top five centre-backs in the world,” Guardiola said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News. “He made the difference on this game by playing passes through our defence.”

Martinez, who has been missing for most of the season due to injury, showed his importance to the team when his team-mates needed him most.

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The Argentine has been plagued by foot, knee and calf injuries this season. Hopefully, Martinez can rest throughout the summer and come back fitter for the new season.

Our team has looked lost without him this season and it is telling that we have won two trophies in as many years with Martinez back in defence.

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