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Villa Boss Rebukes Keeper Martinez For Leaving Goal Empty

  • SPORT
  • 3 min read

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery chided his World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez for allowing Arsenal an easy fourth goal in their Premier League game on Saturday after the Argentina goalkeeper left his net to help seek a last-ditch equaliser.

Emery saw his side give away the lead twice at Villa Park for the score to stand at 2-2 in added time after 90 minutes.

Then, in an extraordinary finale, first Martinez scored an unfortunate own goal after the ball bounced off his head via the crossbar from a Jorginho shot – drawing joyful mockery from fans of Arsenal, his former club.

Then he joined team mates up front in the dying seconds, leaving his goal open for Arsenal to break and bag their fourth from Gabriel Martinelli into an empty net for a 4-2 win.

“I’ve never told my goalkeeper to go to score one goal in the 92nd minute,” said Spaniard Emery.

“Because maybe, I don’t know the data, maybe you score 1 goal in 100. And maybe 20 times they do the transition and they score goals 10 times. And today it happened. We can lose 2-3, but 2-4 it’s not good.”

The flamboyant and ever-controversial Martinez gained notoriety at the Qatar World Cup for his penalty antics to distract opponents, his mockery of France’s Kylian Mbappe, and a lewd gesture with his Golden Glove award.

He looked crestfallen at the final whistle on Saturday.

TURNING POINT

Jorginho, whose late strike off the bar was the game’s main turning and talking point, was euphoric.

“That’s the Premier League. That’s why it’s the best league in the world. It’s just beautiful,” he said.

Oleksandr Zinchenko, who scored his first goal for Arsenal to draw them level at 2-2, said the Premier League title ambition was back on for his talented team mates.

“This group are such amazing people. They can achieve everything they want if we continue this way, if we keep fighting, keep believing. The reaction from all of us in the second half was perfect,” he said.

Arteta was delighted with the comeback.

“If you want to be at the top, you are going to have to win games in many different ways,” he said.

“Credit to the boys. The dressing room was absolutely bouncing. It was a big effort to play less than 72 hours ago after the (Manchester City) game that we had, and after the result that we had which obviously morally was touching.”

Villa striker Ollie Watkins, who saw his early brilliant breakaway goal count for nothing, was disappointed the hosts could not hold out in the dying moments.

“Two all with four, five minutes to go, we should see the game out and draw at the end of the day,” he said.

“Jorginho’s goal was lucky, but they had a lot of the ball in the second half and they kept putting pressure on us.”

Reuters