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Emi Martinez: Aston Villa goalkeeper suspended after yellow card drama in Europa Conference League

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez saved Lille's first penalty before receiving his second yellow card of the night; Martinez will now be suspended for the first leg of Villa's Europa Conference League semi-final with Olympiakos

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Pete Smith explains why Emi Martinez escaped a red card despite being shown two yellow cards against Lille but will be suspended from Aston Villa’s Europa Conference League semi-final against Olympiacos.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez will be suspended for the first leg of his side's Europa Conference League semi-final against Olympiakos.

Martinez was shown two yellow cards in Thursday's Europa Conference League quarter-final second leg against Lille, but was not sent off.

Martinez, who had initially been cautioned in the 39th minute, was given a second yellow card for his gamesmanship during the penalty shoot-out. He was also carded in the first leg.

Despite not being sent off, UEFA confirmed the suspension to Sky Sports News on Friday, stating Martinez had received three yellow cards in their quarter-final against Lille.

Emi Martinez

Villa will host the Greek side at Villa Park on May 2 with the return leg a week later in Piraeus.

Who will Aston Villa play in the semi-finals?

Aston Villa will play Olympiakos in the semi-finals.

Olympiacos also needed penalties to beat Fenerbahce, winning 3-2. Their quarter-final had also ended in a 3-3 aggregate draw.

The semi-finals will start on Thursday May 2 with the second legs on Thursday May 9.

The final is on May 29 at the AEK Arena in Athens, Greece.

Emi Martinez, Aston Villa
Emi Martinez, Aston Villa
Emi Martinez, Aston Villa
Europa Conference League 2023/24 Quarter-final second leg match between Lille OSC and Aston Villa at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on April 18, 2024 in Lille, France.(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Emi Martinez celebrates Aston Villa's ECL victory over Lille

Martinez: I don't understand the rules!

Emi Martinez and Matty Cash, Aston Villa

King of the dark arts Martinez said it was his destiny to be the penalty shoot-out hero.

"It has been a hell of a ride all of my career. I am a believer and a hard worker and it was my destiny today," he said on TNT Sports.

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"I always say in all my career, I owe my team-mates in those moments, even when we were watching Real Madrid last night the manager was saying we might go to penalties and in those moments I own my box.

Emi Martinez

"I get booked after 30 minutes and we're losing the game so I don't know what the referee wanted for me.

"In the shoot-out, there was no ball on the penalty spot and I was asking for a ball from the ball boy... and then I get booked.

"I just don't understand the rules."

Hendrie: Martinez shows why he's world's best

Sky Sports' Lee Hendrie:

"BOOM! Martinez is the main man. It's unbelievable. He's the best goalkeeper in the world. I can't believe Arsenal let him go. Villa into the semi-finals. Let's have it.

"They didn't play anywhere near their best but Emery is the manager of the year. They dug deep. Have you got any champagne here?

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Lee Hendrie was left bemused as Emi Martinez was shown a second yellow card during Aston Villa’s penalty shootout with Lille but was not sent off. The Argentine then secured Villa’s progression by saving the hosts’ final penalty.

"Martinez saved from Andre with his legs. It wasn't the best penalty. The big players turn up in the big moments. The fans gave him no end of stick.

"He gave them a Ricky Gervais dance at the end. I'm thrilled for the club and for Martinez. That's the way to silence the crowd."

Is Martinez the best goalkeeper in the world?

Aston Villa's penalty shoot-out hero Emi Martinez has been hailed as the "best goalkeeper in the world" by former Villa hero Lee Hendrie - but is he right?


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