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Emi Martinez: Why Aston Villa goalkeeper was not sent off despite being booked twice against Lille

Emi Martinez saved Lille's first penalty before receiving his second yellow card of the night; there was confusion when he stayed on the pitch rather than being sent off; Aston Villa goalkeeper then saved the decisive spot-kick to send his side into the semi-finals

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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's penalty shoot-out hero Emi Martinez was not sent off at Lille in Thursday's Europa Conference League quarter-final despite being booked twice, but has been suspended for the semi-final first leg.

Villa won the game on penalties after Lille beat them 2-1 in the second leg to bring the aggregate score to 3-3 at the end of extra-time.

Martinez, who had initially been cautioned in the 39th minute, looked set to receive his marching orders during the shoot-out when referee Ivan Kruzliak brandished a second yellow card for his gamesmanship.

But the Villa goalkeeper was allowed to stay on the pitch, causing confusion around the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, before saving the decisive penalty.

However, Martinez will be suspended for the first leg of their semi-final against Olympiakos on Thursday May 2.

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Confusion reigns as Lee Hendrie reacts to Emi Martinez receiving his second yellow card of the game during Aston Villa's penalty shoot-out at Lille - but avoids a red card!

UEFA confirmed the suspension to Sky Sports News on Friday, stating he has received three yellow cards in the quarter-final against Lille. He was also booked in the first leg at Villa Park.

Emi Martinez, Aston Villa
Image: Emi Martinez was the hero for Aston Villa - but will miss the first leg of their semi-final

Despite not being sent off in the second leg, the yellow card received in the penalty shoot-out does count as a third booking.

Also See:

Emi Martinez, Aston Villa
Image: Emi Martinez received a second yellow card on the night during the penalty shoot-out - but wasn't dismissed
Lille vs Aston Villa
Emi Martinez, Aston Villa
Emi Martinez celebrates Aston Villa's ECL victory over Lille
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)

What do the laws say?

Emi Martinez

The official was simply following the laws of the game, with IFAB rule 10.3 stipulating that bookings are not carried through to penalties.

The rule states: "Yellow cards and warnings from the game are not carried forward into penalties but a player who was shown a red card during the game cannot take part.

"Players, substitutes, substituted players and team officials can get a red or yellow card during penalties."

If Martinez had been sent off during the shoot-out, another player who finished the match would have had to act as the goalkeeper.

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.

"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

Emi Martinez, Aston Villa

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?

"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."

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.

Martinez in the spotlight

Martinez was under fire from the French crowd throughout the game as his every touch was booed, with the ill feelings stemming from his antics at the 2022 World Cup final as Argentina beat France in Qatar.

Ever the character, Martinez was leading the celebrations in the Argentina dressing room with a chant calling for 'a minute of silence' for Kylian Mbappe.

Image: Emi Martinez saves a penalty during the 2022 World Cup final

It came after the 31-year-old had made a crucial save in the final seconds of extra-time before diving the right way for every France penalty, saving one. Aurelien Tchouameni missed from the spot after Martinez had thrown the ball away, delaying the midfielder from taking his penalty.

Martinez lifted the World Cup while also winning the Golden Glove for being the best goalkeeper at the tournament.


Martinez ultimately had the last word once again, saving penalties from Remy Cabella and Benjamin Andre to see Aston Villa into their first European semi-final since 1982.

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