Why Emiliano Martinez was not sent off despite second yellow card in penalty shootout

The Aston Villa goalkeeper thought he was being sent off during the shootout - but a rule change, introduced four years ago, saved him

Jamie Braidwood
Friday 19 April 2024 14:55 BST
Martinez is booked for a second time by the referee - but is not sent off
Martinez is booked for a second time by the referee - but is not sent off (Getty Images)

Emiliano Martinez was once again at the heart of the action as he upset French opposition with his heroics in a penalty shootout - as well as some controversy as the Aston Villa goalkeeper survived being shown a second yellow card from the referee in the middle of the shootout against Lille.

The Argentina goalkeeper was the star of the penalty shootout against France in the World Cup final 12 months ago, turning to ‘dark arts’ with his antics in putting off the opposition in the Qatar final.

The Lille fans had clearly not forgotten Martinez’s actions, and booed the goalkeeper during the Europa Conference League quarter-final second leg.

Martinez was booked for timewasting in the first half, as Aston Villa tried to protect their 2-1 first-leg advantage.

And when the tie ended 3-3 on aggregate and went to penalties, Martinez was decisive again - saving penalties from Nabil Bentaleb and Benjamin Andre as Villa won 4-3 to become the only English team to progress in Europe this week.

There was confusion, however, after Martinez was booked by the referee after turning to the Lille fans and shushing them midway through the shootout.

Martinez, thinking he was about to be sent off, was then in disbelief as the referee took out his yellow card but did not produce a red.

That’s because, in a rule that was only introduced four years ago, bookings are not carried forward into the shootout - meaning Martinez was able to carry on.

The rule was introduced to crack down on goalkeeper’s coming off their line to save penalties, with lawmakers looking to avoid a situation where a goalkeeper could be sent off for such an infringement but could be punished if they do it twice.

Martinez shushed the Lille fans in France (Getty Images)

The rule change stated: "Yellow card for all players are not carried forward into a penalty shootout.

"If a player receives a yellow card in both the match and the penalty shootout, this should be recorded as two yellow cards, not as a red card."

The goalkeeper will be banned from Aston Villa’s next European game, however, which is against Olympiacos in the semi-final first leg.

Martinez, who was also booked in the first leg against Lille, has been given a one-match suspension from Uefa.

“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," Martinez 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."

On the shootout drama, where he was shown a yellow card by referee Ivan Kruzliak, he said: "It’s all about reputation for time-wasting because the other goalie was doing exactly the same thing.

"I got a yellow after 30 minutes and we were losing the game so I don’t know what the ref wants from me.

"Then there was no ball in the penalty spot and I was asking for a ball from the ball boy and I get booked; I just don’t understand the rules."

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