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Argentina stars react to Lisandro Martinez’s ‘spectacular’ moment against Australia in World Cup last-16 clash

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Manchester United centre-back Lisandro Martinez has been lavished with praise by his Argentina teammates following his crucial block against Australia.

La Albiceleste advanced to the World Cup quarter-finals after beating the Socceroos 2-1 in yesterday’s round of 16 clash.

Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina will face Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands in the last-eight with a spot in the World Cup semi-finals on the line.

With Scaloni favouring Cristian Romero and Nicolas Otamendi as his centre-back pairing once again, Martinez started on the bench for the third time in four games in Qatar.

Argentina stars react to Lisandro Martinez’s ‘spectacular’ block against Australia in World Cup last-16 clash

Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images

Five minutes into the second half, United’s number six replaced Sevilla forward Papu Gomez with Argentina leading 1-0 at the time.

Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez, who Ralf Rangnick recommended Manchester United should sign, capitalised on an error from Australia goalkeeper Matt Ryan to double his nation’s lead just before the hour mark.

An own goal from Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez, who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, set up a nervy ending for the two-time World Cup winners.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In the 81st minute, Socceroos left-back Aziz Behich set off on a galloping run and breezed past four Argentina players before getting into the penalty area and having a glorious chance to equalise.

But from out of nowhere, Martinez flung himself in front of the goalbound shot and diverted the ball to safety.

The 24-year-old celebrated wildly, and his Argentina teammates appreciated his crucial intervention.

Danny Murphy, who was commentating on the game live on BBC, said at the time: “What a tackle!”.

Argentina held onto the win thanks to a crucial save deep into injury time from Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

But there was plenty of love for The Butcher following Argentina’s win.

After taking to Instagram following the win against the Socceroos, Martinez’s post was met with love, appreciation and gratitude from Argentina players past and present.

Enzo Fernandez called him an “animal” as did Nahuel Molina and German Pezzella.

Papu Gomez said he loves Martinez “so much” while Emiliano Martinez, Rodrigo De Paul and Otamendi waxed lyrical about his block.

Accompanying a picture of him and Martinez, Leandro Paredes wrote on his Instagram story: “I love you phenomenon”.

While former Argentina left-back Juan Pablo Sorin labelled Martinez’s block as “spectacular” with a tribute to the influential Red Devil on his Instagram story.

Martinez will be hoping to start Friday’s quarter-final against the Netherlands, but it seems that Scaloni is set on Otamendi and Romero.

Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.

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