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Why Emiliano Martinez was not sent off during Lille v Aston Villa penalty shootout | Football

Emiliano Martinez starred in Aston Villa’s penalty shootout win (Picture: Getty)

A niche rule allowed Emiliano Martinez to continue in Aston Villa’s penalty shootout against Lille despite receiving a second yellow card.

French side Lille looked set to progress to the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League after going 2-0 up against Villa, leading the tie 3-2 on aggregate.

But Matty Cash scored a late goal to take the tie to extra-time and penalties were then required to separate the two teams.

Martinez, already on a yellow for time-wasting, received a warning from the referee for grabbing the ball after Youri Tielemans converted Villa’s first spot-kick.

The Argentina World Cup winner then kept out Nabil Bentaleb’s effort and immediately celebrated, with the Villa ‘keeper seen shushing the home fans.

Martinez appeared to continue to antagonise the Lille supporters while Villa prepared to take their second penalty and it was at that point referee Ivan Kruzliak handed him a second yellow card.

It was a surprise, then, to see Martinez continue in goal for the rest of the shootout and ultimately help Aston Villa progress by saving another penalty.

Martinez, who also caused controversy for his antics during and after the World Cup final penalty shootout, ran the full length of the pitch to the travelling Villa fans after the win.

The reason Martinez was not sent off is that yellow cards from the game – in this case the 90 minutes plus extra-time – do not carry through to the shootout, meaning he was allowed to continue.

Villa – who have impressed in the Premier League this season, climbing to third in the table – took a one-goal lead to northern France but were heading out after Yusuf Yazıcı and Benjamin Andre scored for the hosts.

Cash kept Unai Emery’s side alive with an 87th-minute goal and then Martinez emerged as the hero in a dramatic penalty shootout.

Addressing the controversy, Martinez told TNT Sports: ‘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. 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.’

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