Lille fans charge at Aston Villa keeper Martinez as stewards intervene | Football | Sport

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saw furious Lille fans attempt to storm his goal during their Europa Conference League second leg. The Argentine stopper is far from popular in France after his heroics to deny Kylian Mbappe and co in the World Cup final in Qatar, with some supporters seemingly harbouring resentment.

As the teams made their way out onto the pitch for kick-off, Lille fans could be spotted attempting to climb over the barricade and onto the pitch near the visiting goal, after travelling captain John McGinn won the toss and elected to swap sides.

They were unable to get close to Martinez’s goal and were promptly stopped in their tracks by stewards, but ensured that a hostile atmosphere was made even tougher for the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper to endure.

Martinez quickly sprinted across to his goal but was firmly focused on the task in hand, with Unai Emery’s outfit starting the match with a 2-1 lead after winning the first leg at Villa Park.

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Fresh off a win at the Emirates, Villa were met by a Lille side primed for their encounter and Yusuf Yazici soon drew the hosts level in a first half in which Villa did not have a single shot on target.

Martinez was whistled throughout the contest after previously being described as ‘the most hated man in France’ by French outlet TF1 following his saves and subsequent celebrations after Argentina’s World Cup. The goalkeeper was also booked for timewasting, which led to Emery’s furious outburst on the touchline that also saw the head coach receive a yellow card.

In the aftermath of Argentina’s final win in Qatar, Martinez was captured on video as he jokingly called for a minute’s silence for Mbappe, before posing with a toy that had the Paris Saint-Germain star’s face on.

He was quick to play down the seriousness of his celebrations, however. “Seriously, it was just a football match,” Martinez said. “Honestly, I love France. I’ve come here plenty of times on vacation.

“I love the French. I shared a room with two French players from Aston Villa. And as I said before, Arsenal had lots of great players. Arsene Wenger is a legend and he now works for FIFA. It was good to see him again.”

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