If you watched the match between Manchester United and Aston Villa in the Premier League last Sunday, then you might remember a particular elbow incident between Lisandro Martinez and Leon Bailey.
For those of you who don’t know, late in the second half, the United center-back was shielding the ball from the Villa forward and things got intense as the defender elbowed him in the stomach, leading to the Jamaican player dropping on the ground in agony.
Looking at the deliberate action of the Argentine, it was clear that he was in the wrong and he should’ve at least received a warning, if not sent off.
But surprisingly enough, this incident wasn’t taken seriously by the referees, and fortunately for Martinez, he wasn’t even shown a card.
Aston Villa won the match 3-1, but the referees’ ignorance of this incident didn’t sit well with Bailey as he took to Twitter after the match to raise concerns over why the actions of the defender were overlooked by the officials even with the presence of VAR.
Many agreed with him saying that the Argentine defender should’ve been sent off.
Nonetheless, this wouldn’t be the end of the Martinez-Bailey saga as they were set to face off again in the Carabao Cup on Thursday.
Although this time around, the story plays out a bit differently as it was the Villa player who was in the wrong.
Late in the second half, both players found themselves in a similar position as last Sunday, with the United defender trying to guard the ball against Bailey who was right behind him attempting to take it off him.
Both were tussling with each other and ended up on the ground together. As the Argentine attempted to get back on his feet again, that’s when things got heated again.
Bailey was seen shoving him twice and later kicking him in the knees. Although the 25-year-old forward received a yellow card for his deliberate actions, he certainly escaped a harsher punishment.
The match ended 4-2 with the Red Devils emerging victorious at Old Trafford but this heated incident between Martinez and Bailey remained a major talking point after the match.
Fans on social media were quick to criticize Bailey for his actions and also asked questions about him not being sent off despite the kick that resulted in the United defender not being able to walk for a second.
Additionally, Argentine and United supporters also accused him of deliberately trying to injure the centre-back and take him out of the world cup as a form of payback for the Sunday incident.
Furthermore, some fans even called for him to receive a ban. He was also labelled as a hypocrite for complaining about the referees and then trying to deliberately injure a player.
Say what you want about either of those incidents, there’s no denying that the officials should’ve taken a better look at them.