Why Emiliano Martinez was not sent off despite 2 Yellow Cards against Lille?

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez avoided a sending off in his side’s meeting with Lille on Thursday due to a little-known rule which sees yellow cards reset before penalty shoot-outs.

Villa’s shot stopper was booked in the first half for timewasting as Unai Emery’s side tried to cling to their aggregate lead and then, with the tie eventually going to penalties, the referee showed Martinez a second yellow during the shoot-out for his antics during the spot kicks.

To the surprise of many watching, Martinez remained on the pitch despite being shown two yellow cards, but this was no refereeing mistake and instead the consequence of a recent rule change.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) recently changed their regulations regarding yellow cards for penalty shoot-outs, deciding that all cautions handed out to players and coaches during regular time would not be carried forward to the spot kicks.

Martinez, who went on to save from both Nabil Bentaleb and Andre as Villa won the shootout 4-3, is formally listed with two yellow cards, but as the first was not in play for penalties, he avoided a red card.

However, as he did pick up two yellow cards during one game, he is expected to serve a one-game suspension which will be active in the first leg of the semi-final.

After the game, Martinez pleaded his innocence and insisted he had fallen victim to his reputation.

“I just have a bad reputation for time-wasting because the other goalie was doing exactly the same thing,” Martinez said.

He continued: “I get booked after 30 minutes, and we’re losing the game, so I don’t know what the ref wants from me. There was no ball on the penalty spot, and I’m asking for a ball from a ball boy and then I get booked. I don’t understand the rules.”

The tie had ended 3-3 on aggregate, with Matt Cash’s late goal sending the game into extra time after Aston Villa had seen Lille wipe out their first leg lead to seize the initiative.

What we know

  • Martinez was shown two yellow cards in Aston Villa’s triumph over Lille on Thursday
  • Goalkeeper avoided sending off due to a little-known rule
  • Villa expected to lose the goalkeeper to suspension in the semi-final.

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