Friday, May 24, 2024

Emiliano Martinez banned for first leg of Villa’s semi-final against Olympiacos

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Apr 2024

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Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez will miss the Europa Conference League semi-final first leg against Olympiacos.

The Argentina international saved two penalties in the 4-3 quarter-final shootout victory over Lille, but earned a yellow card for his trademark gamesmanship and baiting the home crowd.

That was his second of the game, but he was not sent off as cards are not carried over into the shootout.

However, after also picking up a booking in the first leg against Lille, he will now miss the semi-final first leg with the Greek side on May 2 for three yellows on the totting-up process.

The World Cup winner, who produced heroics against France in the 2022 final in Qatar, will be a big miss, with Unai Emery calling him the best goalkeeper in the world.

“To say something about this is when he’s being successful individually and collectively with his club here at Aston Villa and his national team,” boss Unai Emery said.

“He’s being successful with Argentina, he’s being successful and progressively getting better here with Aston Villa.

“And individually he’s being successful because he’s saving a lot of matches as a goalkeeper.

“Of course, he’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world – the first, the second, the third.

“For me, the best.”

Villa will have a quick turnaround after playing 120 minutes in northern France on Thursday, with Bournemouth’s visit to Villa Park on Sunday.

Emery will assess his side after Saturday’s training session to see how they recover, with Nicolo Zaniolo going off injured in the first half against Lille.

Alex Moreno, Emiliano Buendia, Jacob Ramsey, Tyrone Mings and Boubacar Kamara are definitely out.

“Alex Moreno, Mings, Buendia, Ramsey are still unavailable,” Emery added. “I think no more. After the match we played yesterday, we will have to wait and then decide.”

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