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Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez slapped with UEFA BAN after causing shootout CHAOS

Aston Villa’s Europa Conference League campaign has been nothing short of dramatic, and the latest twist sees them facing their semi-final clash without their key goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez.

The Argentine shot-stopper, who has been pivotal in Villa’s journey to the last four, will serve a one-match suspension in the first leg against Olympiacos due to accumulating yellow cards during the competition.

Martinez’s journey in the Europa Conference League has been marked by both heroics and controversy. In the quarter-final showdown against Lille, he found himself at the center of attention once again.

Villa, led by Unai Emery, travelled to France with a 2-1 lead from the first leg. However, a dramatic turn of events saw them concede twice, requiring a late Matty Cash goal to force extra time.

The match escalated to penalties, and Martinez, already on a yellow card for time-wasting during regular play, faced the wrath of the home crowd.

Just like the World Cup final, Emi Martinez humbled the French fans once again. (Image: Getty)

Memories of the 2022 World Cup final resurfaced, where Martinez’s antics during Argentina’s shootout victory over France earned him the ire of many.

Despite the hostile environment, Martinez remained unfazed, even goading the supporters after saving Nabil Bentaleb’s penalty.

Martinez was shown a second yellow card but continued to guard the goal for the remaining spot-kicks.

Confusion ensued until it was clarified that yellow cards do not carry forward into penalty shootouts, as per IFAB law 10.

Martinez capitalized on this reprieve, making crucial saves to secure Villa’s spot in their first European semi-final since 1982.

As Villa prepares to face Olympiacos for a chance to reach the final in Athens, Martinez’s absence looms large.

His commanding presence and shot-stopping ability will undoubtedly be missed in the first leg at Villa Park.