Emiliano Martinez shines on his Debut! Can we have him back please?
On the day Arsenal signed his replacement, Emiliano Martinez made his debut for Aston Villa and proved just why Arsenal should have fought harder to keep him!
In the early evening kick off against Sheffield United at Villa Park, Martinez took to the sticks to make his debut for the team he joined last week. After a slow start and then a sending off for Sheffield United, it looked as though it would be an easy game for Villa as they held the extra man, but it was deemed to be a more difficult task then they first imagined.
United went down to ten men on twelve minutes when John Egan grappled with Ollie Watkins and the linesman flagged for a foul in which referee Graham Scott walked over and pulled out a straight red card. Of course, the incident then went to VAR but his decision stood and Sheffield were down to ten men with over 70 minutes left to play of the game.
Villa then began to control the game, but it wasn’t until the minute 33 that Martinez was properly tested, as The Blades went forward on a counter-attack in which Burke used his pace to drive into the Villains box, Targett was caught out of position and had no choice but to clip the player sending him down and out and Graham Scott signalled for a penalty. Over to VAR it went, decision stood, and Emi was about to face his biggest test on his debut. Trying to save a penalty.
And he did just that! After failing to save any of the penalties in the Community Shield final against Liverpool for Arsenal, he found himself up against Lundstram, who stepped up and fired a shot to the bottom left of the goal, Emi guessed rightly and pulled off the save diving down to his right to keep it at 0-0.
After making a few more good saves and with a goal from Ezri Konsa giving Villa a 1-0 lead, Emi helped to lead Villa to their first three points of the season and what a key asset I am sure he will be in helping them stay in the Premier League for yet another season.