Lille 2 – 1 A Villa

Aston Villa reached the Europa Conference League semi-finals with a dramatic shoot-out win at Lille, winning 4-3 on penalties after rescuing a 3-3 draw on aggregate.

Matty Cash’s late goal (87) forced an extra 30 minutes after Yusuf Yasici (15) and Benjamin Andre (67) had seen Lille come from a 2-1 deficit from the first leg to lead the tie 3-2.

But nothing could separate the sides after 210 minutes and two legs, needing penalties to decide the quarter-final.

And it was marred in confusion. Goalkeeper Emi Martinez – who saved two spot kicks to send Aston Villa through – had already been booked in the first half for time wasting, and was shown another yellow card during the shootout.

Ever the performer, Martinez had ‘shushed’ the crowd after saving from Remy Cabella, leading to objects being thrown at him. He then gestured again to them, appearing to ask them to stop, and then was booked.

It left many wondering why the accumulation of two yellows did not result in a red. However, rules state that no yellow cards from the game carry over into shoot-outs, and therefore Martinez was not sent off.

He continued to take part in the penalty shootout, saving the final spot kick from Andre and seeing Aston Villa into their first European semi-final since 1982.

More to follow…

Who will Aston Villa play in the semi-finals?

Aston Villa will play either Olympiakos or Fenerbahce in the semi-finals.

Olympiacos were 3-2 ahead on aggregate from the first leg, with the pair playing their second leg at 8pm in Turkey.

The semi-finals will start on Thursday May 2 with the second legs on Thursday May 9.

The final is on May 29 at the AEK Arena in Athens, Greece.

Penalty shootout drama in pictures

Emi Martinez, Aston Villa
Emi Martinez was involved in a dramatic penalty shootout as Aston Villa beat Lille in the Europa Conference League

Emi Martinez, Aston Villa
Emi Martinez, Aston Villa
Lille vs Aston Villa
Emi Martinez celebrates Aston Villa's ECL victory over Lille
Europa Conference League 2023/24 Quarter-final second leg match between Lille OSC and Aston Villa at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on April 18, 2024 in Lille, France.(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

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Lee Hendrie was left bemused as Emi Martinez was shown a second yellow card during Aston Villa’s penalty shoot-out with Lille but was not sent off. The Argentine then secured Villa’s progression by saving the hosts’ final penalty

What’s next for Aston Villa?

Aston Villa return to Premier League action on Sunday as they host Bournemouth in a 3pm kick-off, with Unai Emery’s fourth-placed side looking to strengthen their Champions League qualification hopes.

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