- (transitive, sports) To mark an opposition player closely.
2003, Floriano Marziali; Vincenzo Mora, “The Factors in a Soccer Player’s Performance”, in Bryan R. Beaver, editor, The Zone, Spring City, Pa.: Reedswain Publishing, ISBN 978-1-59164-058-5, page 34:
- In the most extreme form of man-marking, each player has a pre-established opponent to be followed and to be man-marked, from a more or less short distance, wherever he goes. The main objective of the defender is to steal the ball from his opponent if he receives it, or to place him in a threatened condition, thus forcing him to immediately get rid of the ball.
2012, Ivan Ponting, quoting Frankie Prince, George Best: The Extraordinary Story of a Footballing Genius, London: Simon & Schuster UK, ISBN 978-1-84983-807-8:
2014, Paul Galvin, “The Start of Something”, in In My Own Words: The Autobiography, London: Transworld Ireland, Transworld Publishers, ISBN 978-1-84827-205-7; Transworld Ireland paperback edition, London: Transworld Ireland, Transworld Publishers, 2015, ISBN 978-1-84827-206-4, page 207:
- It was my last round up against Noel O'Leary. He was rolled out to man-mark me again at the last minute. […] While the Cork manager might have felt he was negating my influence on the game by man-marking me with a secret last-minute selection, in reality we were always using the arrangement to our advantage.
2017 May 13, Barney Ronay, “Antonio Conte’s brilliance has turned Chelsea’s pop-up team into champions”, in The Guardian, London, archived from the original on 9 September 2017:
- When the team might have tired from that hard-running style they have had days to rest. When first Sam Allardyce and then José Mourinho exposed a certain weakness against a two-man attack, and also when the "supply" players, [Eden] Hazard and Pedro, were man-marked, [Antonio] Conte had a week to drill his team and patch this up.