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18th Feb 2023

Unai Emery slams Emiliano Martínez after Arsenal defeat

Callum Boyle

‘I don’t like it’

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has criticised goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez for going up for a corner in the dying moments of their defeat against Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta’s side recovered to come from 2-1 down to score two late goals in stoppage time to return to the top of the table, albeit temporarily.

Jorginho’s thunderous effort cannoned off the bar and onto Martínez’s head to give the Gunners a 3-2 lead. Shortly after, with Villa searching for an equaliser, they won a corner.

Martínez went up in search of being the one to score the goal but it backfired as Arsenal cleared their lines, allowing Arsenal to coutner-attack and give Gabriel Martinelli a free run on goal, stroking it home into an empty net to make sure of the points.

After the game, Emery revealed that he had instructed Martínez to stay back in case the Gunners did counter and that he was also disappointed to see the level of time wasting his side did in order to slow the clock down.

“He decided himself to go up. They are the protagonists but I told him I don’t like it!,” the former Arsenal boss said.

“I told him that… Maybe [goalkeepers] can score in the history one or two times, there’s more goals scored against you. [We] wasted more time than I want.”

The World Cup winner’s future at Villa Park is in doubt after he recently admitted that his success at international level has made him even more ambitious to win more at a domestic level.

“I’m still hungry, I want to win the Champions League,” Martínez told Ole. “Obviously, I would like to do it with Aston Villa, but it will be difficult because the club is still in its growth phase. I won the most beautiful title there is with the national team and now I’m aiming for the biggest title.

“We’ll see what will happen. I have the feeling that today I have the level to play in the Champions League and try to win it.”

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