Lille manager gobsmacked over UEFA rule which kept Martinez in the shootout despite second yellow card

Unai Emery’s men faced a formidable challenge in their encounter against Lille, with the tension mounting as Aston Villa’s fate hung in the balance.

Throughout the match, Lille posed a strong challenge, leaving Villa with an uphill struggle. However, despite the odds stacked against them, Villa showcased resilience and determination.

The match took a dramatic turn as Yusuf Yazici leveled the aggregate score for Lille, compounding Villa’s woes. Benjamin Andre’s second-half goal from a set-piece seemed to seal Villa’s fate, putting Lille 2-0 up and leaving Villa on the brink of elimination.

Yet, Villa defied expectations once more. With just three minutes remaining, Matty Cash seized an opportunity, capitalising on a goalkeeper error to level the tie, breathing new life into Villa’s European aspirations. The late equaliser sent the match into extra time.

Why was Emi Martinez not sent off against Lille?

The scoreline remained unchanged throughout the extra time period, so a penalty shootout was needed. Villa emerged triumphant, prevailing 4-3 on penalties, with Emiliano Martinez emerging as the hero of the hour. However, controversy ensued as many questioned Martinez’s presence on the pitch.

A little-known law in the UEFA rulebooks came into play, allowing Martinez to avoid being sent off despite receiving two yellow cards during the match. Despite receiving a second yellow card during the penalty shootout for engaging with antagonistic Lille fans, Martinez remained on the pitch, thanks to the rule that yellow cards received during the match do not carry over into a penalty shootout and are automatically reset.

Aston Villa players celebrate with penalty shootout hero Emi Martinez.

Lille manager on Emi Martinez second yellow card incident

Lille manager Paulo Fonseca admitted his unawareness of this rule, expressing surprise at the turn of events. “I think no one knew! I have so many years in football and it’s never happened!” he confessed to TNT Sports.

Villa’s victory, while marred by controversy, underscores their resilience and fighting spirit, propelling them into the semi-finals in a thrilling fashion, and this incredible campaign under Unai Emery reaches new heights.