Like a sense of deja vu. Many French supporters must have had a flood of memories of the winter of 2022, and the disastrous penalty shootout which resulted in Argentina’s coronation at the World Cup in Qatar, Thursday April 17. On the lawn of the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d’Ascq (North), the protagonist of this sequence was out again: Argentinian international goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. At the end of an unbreathable penalty shootout, “Dibu” allowed his Aston Villa team to eliminate Lille Olympic Sporting Club (LOSC), who had nevertheless come back from behind in the first leg, and to climb in the last four of the Europa Conference League (2-1, 3-4 on penalties).

“Emiliano Martinez is the only player to receive two yellow cards in a match, and then go and win a penalty shootout! » Like the English commentators on the TNT Sport channel, all spectators of the match struggled to understand how the “Villans” goalkeeper was able to stay on the field after receiving a yellow card during the penalty shootout. for provocation. The second, after the one received during the game.

The opportunity for all football fans to discover a rarely used rule: penalties are not considered part of the normal time of a match. Consequently, the cards received during the meeting are not taken into account during the sessions.

A cruel elimination for the Mastiffs

Author of two saves – on the first shot by Nabil Bentaleb, and the last, by Benjamin André – the Argentine world champion once again distinguished himself during a penalty shootout. Even though he was the victim of the modification of the regulations that his behavior caused: in the summer of 2023, the football authorities decreed that goalkeepers with the unfortunate habit of playing with the nerves of their opponents during these sessions should not could no longer do it. A “Dibu Martinez law” for which the latter paid the price on Monday, warned after trying (and succeeding) to destabilize the first Lille shooter.

If Aston Villa continues its path and reaches the last four of the third continental competition, for Lille, the elimination is cruel. Because Paulo Fonseca’s men, beaten (2-1) in the first leg, did everything to extend their European campaign. Authors of a top-flight performance, Jonathan David’s partners quickly caught up, through Yusuf Yazici (15th), before Benjamin André scored a second goal, synonymous with qualification (68th). Carried by a lively, biting and inspired public, the Mastiffs dominated the current fourth in the English Premier League until the 87th minute.

In their only moment of absence from the game, and a ball released by the Lille goalkeeper, Lucas Chevalier, the Northerners saw the Aston Villa side, Matty Cash, score a goal, deflected, which will feed their regrets. Because Benjamin André’s partners failed to make the difference during extra time, before failing on penalties against the perfect antihero “Dibu” Martinez.

Welcomed by a bronca on his first steps on the pitch – the first, in France, since the final of the 2022 World Cup –, and booed at each of his ball catches, the Argentine goalkeeper added, on Thursday, a line his reputation as public enemy number one on French lawns. Forever “Naughty” for the French, the goalkeeper turned into a hero for Aston Villa, who he took to the continental semi-finals, in this week having seen the elimination of Arsenal and Manchester City in the Champions League. champions. For LOSC, who were playing their first European quarter-final, even if they believed in the last four, the adventure ends.