Analysis: How Chris Martin performed against Lithuania

Chris Martin started for Scotland ahead of Leigh Griffiths. Picture: PA
Chris Martin started for Scotland ahead of Leigh Griffiths. Picture: PA
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Chris Martin again led the line for Scotland as they faced Lithuania at Hampden despite a goal drought in club football that now stretches to 20 games.

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With in-form duo Leigh Griffiths and Steven Fletcher left on the bench, the Tartan Army expected to see the 27-year-old justify his selection.

Here, Andy Newport analyses his display in the disappointing 1-1 draw.

RECEPTION

The Hampden crowd gave Martin a lukewarm welcome as his name was read out before kick-off but he nearly had them cheering when he came close with his first chance after 25 minutes. James McArthur rescued a point for Scotland but that was not enough to save Martin and the rest of his team-mates from copping a torrent of boos at full-time.

LINK-UP PLAY

The lone frontman was not involved much in the opening stages as Lithuania crowded him out. He came into the action more as Edgaras Jankauskas’ team dropped off, winning knock-downs and flick-ons for the likes of Matt Ritchie and Oliver Burke. The addition of Griffiths late in the game opened up space but Martin did not have the mobility needed to take advantage.

WORK-RATE

The basic requirement for anyone picked for a Gordon Strachan side is that they put an almighty shift in. Martin, though, has a languid style which sometimes gives the impression he is not always moving at top speed. He closed down Georgas Freidgeimas and Edvinas Girdvainis on the odd occasion but never looked like he has any serious intention of putting the pair under pressure.

GOAL THREAT

Had a couple of sniffs at goal but left Strachan pulling his hair out as neither attempt hit the net. His first came midway through the first period when he did well to hold off visiting right-back Egidijus Vaitkunas to get on the end of Robert Snodgrass’ deep cross. He could only steer his shot the wrong side of the far post while he was just as close with a header from Andy Robertson’s centre 10 minutes after the break

OVERALL

Martin was not the reason Scotland suffered this damaging setback but Strachan will be under pressure to explain why he did not put his trust in Griffiths, a man who hit 40 goals for Celtic last season and has another already this term, sooner.

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