Will Emiliano Martinez be banned for Conference League semi-final after receiving two yellow cards?


Will Emiliano Martinez be banned for Conference League semi-final after receiving two yellow cards?

Aston Villa goalkeeper Martinez avoided a red card against Lille despite being shown two yellow cards.

There were bizarre scenes in Aston Villa’s UEFA Europa Conference League victory over Lille on Thursday night as Emiliano Martinez avoided being sent off despite being shown two yellow cards.

Villa progressed to the last four of the competition with a dramatic 4-3 victory in a penalty shootout, after the tie had ended 3-3 following extra-time.

Martinez was booked in normal time by Slovakian referee Ivan Kruzliak for running down the clock and later received a second yellow card in the shootout for gesturing to the home supporters after saving Lille’s first penalty.

But instead of being sent off, the Argentina international was allowed to continue because of a little-known rule.

Yellow cards reset at the start of a penalty shootout, meaning Martinez was able to stay on the pitch.

And he would prove to be the hero for Villa, saving Lille captain Benjamin Andre’s spot-kick to seal victory for the visitors.

Unai Emery‘s side will now face either Fenerbahce or Olympiakos in the last four of the competition.

There has been some confusion over whether Martinez will be available for the first leg of that tie, given the unusual circumstances surrounding his two yellow cards against Lille.

However, The Telegraph has now reported that Villa understand those bookings will force Martinez to miss the semi-final first leg through suspension.

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That means back-up goalkeeper Robin Olsen is likely to start for Villa in the first leg of the semi-final, their first in European competition since 1982.

Speaking after the win over Lille, Martinez was asked about his two bookings and admitted the rules confused even himself.

He said: “I just got a bad reputation for time wasting because the other goalie was doing exactly the same thing and I get booked after 30 minutes.

“You know, we were losing the game, I don’t know what the ref wants from me.”

He added: “And then, there was no ball on the penalty spot and I ask for a ball from the ball boy and then I get booked. I just don’t understand the rules.”

Football fans can watch every Champions League and Europa League match live on TNT Sports by signing up to discovery+.

Featured Image Credit: Getty & TNT Sports

Topics: Aston Villa, Europa Conference League, Emiliano Martinez, Football, Lille

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