Emiliano Martinez could be the signing of the season for Aston Villa
Emiliano Martinez could be the signing of the season… the bargain goalkeeper is such a bonus for Aston Villa following his one-man show against Brighton in the Premier League
- Martinez’s one-man show was enough to make Arsenal hot under the collar
- Graham Potter’s Brighton recorded 26 shots but failed to beat the Villa stopper
- It was Martinez’s 12th clean sheet of the season, and seventh on the road.
Signing of the season? Manchester City’s Ruben Dias might have something to say, but Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez looks worthy of that compliment.
His one-man show on Saturday was enough to make Arsenal hot under the collar. While the Gunners twiddle their thumbs, he could be playing in Europe next season. There’s some way to go, but Villa’s short-sleeved wonder has them feeling confident.
Graham Potter’s Brighton recorded more shots — 26 in total — than they had ever managed in a Premier League match but failed to score because of Villa’s £17million steal.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez looks worthy of being the signing of the season
It was Martinez’s 12th clean sheet of the season, and seventh on the road. The only Villa keeper with more away shutouts was Brad Friedel in 2010.
Martinez called Jack Grealish ‘Lionel Messi with a right foot’ last week. Performances like this will win the goalkeeper his own star comparisons.
Not least with Gianluigi Buffon if he continues to sport those short sleeves in arctic conditions.
‘We were bang average,’ Dean Smith said. ‘I have not seen us make so many errors. We needed our keeper.’
Graham Potter’s Brighton recorded 26 shots but failed to beat the Aston Villa goalkeeper
Martinez offered his own assessment afterwards. ‘They deserved to win,’ he said. ‘We’re looking to Europe. I’m frustrated. We came here to win, to be in the top seven.’
Villa’s attack was gobbled up by Brighton’s mountainous defenders. Lewis Dunk, at 6ft 4in, flattened Ollie Watkins, who even tried changing his boots in a bid for better luck.
Dan Burn, the tallest of the Brighton defence at 6ft 7in, came closest to scoring but his header from a corner was tipped round the post by the magnificent Martinez.
The one-man show was Martinez’s 12th clean sheet of the season, and seventh on the road
Brighton are now unbeaten in six Premier League games. Only Manchester City are on a longer run.
‘We had enough shots, just not that last bit of luck you need,’ Potter said. ‘It is frustrating but pleasing because the performance was very good.’
Brighton are slowly but surely moving away from the Premier League’s bottom three while Villa are continuing to edge towards those European places. They can thank Martinez for that.
MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
Brighton (3-4-1-2): Sanchez 6; White 6, Dunk 6.5, Burn 6; Veltman 6.5, Gross 6, Bissouma 6, Alzate 6 (Lallana 62min, 6); Mac Allister 6; Trossard 6, Maupay 6 (Welbeck 80).
Subs not used: Walton, Karbownik, Connolly, Moder, Tau, Propper, Zeqiri. Booked: Alzate, Trossard.
Manager: Graham Potter 6.5.
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1): Martinez 9; Cash 6 (El Mohamady 61, 6), Konsa 6, Mings 6, Targett 6.5; McGinn 6, Luiz 6; Traore 5.5 (Trezeguet 66, 6), Barkley 5 (Sanson 76), Grealish 5.5; Watkins 5.5.
Subs not used: Heaton, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Engels, Davis, Ramsey.
Booked: Grealish, Luiz, Sanson.
Manager: Dean Smith 6.
Referee: Darren England 6.
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