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      Dramatic shootout sends Villa through past Lille

      Dramatic shootout sends Villa through past Lille

      2024/04/18 20:51

      A thrilling two-legged tie between Lille and Aston Villa culminated in another Emiliano Martinez-dominated penalty shootout that saw the Villains edge through into the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa Conference League. 


      LIL XI: Chevalier; Tiago Santos, Yoro, Diakite, Ismaily; Andre*, Bentaleb; Yazici, Haraldsson, Gudmundsson; David

      LIL SUBS: Mannone, Negrel, Alexsandro, Toure, Bouaddi, Ounas, Gomes, Cabella, Ivan Cavaleiro, Ferrah, Tiago Morais

      AVL XI: Emiliano Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Pau Torres, Digne; McGinn*, Tielemans, Douglas Luiz, Zaniolo; Diaby, Watkins

      AVL SUBS: Gauci, Olsen, Diego Carlos, Lenglet, Hayden, Munroe, Iroegbunam, Kellyman, Rogers, Bailey, Jhon Duran

      Action: It was a fast start from the hosts as they kicked towards their ultras in the first-half with Aston Villa’s defence coming under major pressure early on.

      The Villains’ defence was eventually breached early on, too, with Gabriel Gudmundsson fizzing in an excellent low cross and Turkish international winger Yusuf Yazici meeting it well to finish low and hard into the bottom corner to level things up on aggregate.

      Villa, mainly down the right-hand side through Matty Cash and John McGinn, had some opportunities but there was nothing clear cut created by the visitors. 

      An even start to the second-half began to tilt in favour of the home team before they eventually made it 2-0 and managed to go ahead on aggregate for the first time in tie. Aston Villa defender Matty Cash glanced in an in-swinging corner to send the home crowd delirious.

      It was the Poland international, combining well with second-half substitute Leon Bailey, who led Villa’s fight back as the game continued with the visitors being the better side for much of the final period. 

      Cash had a shot well saved by Lucas Chevalier before the former Nottingham Forest man did actually bring his side back level on aggregate late on at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

      Ollie Watkins’ high cross was dropped by the aforementioned Chevalier with the ball falling to Leon Bailey but his shot was blocked, only as far as Matty Cash. His driven effort was deflected in amidst aggressive Lille protestations that brought no foul after Jhon Duran had slightly collided with Chevalier. 

      As we went into extra-time, it was Villa who were by far the better side and indeed Leon Bailey who was absolutely instrumental to their attacking play. The Jamaican international unleashed a well struck effort from the edge of the box that was well saved by Chevalier before Douglas Luiz came in on the rebound to head into an empty net but slightly skewed his header for Chevalier to react well and push over the bar. 

      In the second-half, Lille kicked on themselves in an attempt to avoid the dreaded penalty shootout and they very nearly edged through when Tiago Santos skimmed an effort across goal and wide. 

      Villa then did very nearly nick the win in the final minute of the 120 when Jhon Duran spun and had his well struck low effort once again blocked by the excellent Chevalier. 

      It was to be penalties and what an incredibly dramatic shootout it was. Emiliano Martinez, as was the case in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final, pushed his luck. Youri Tielemans stepped up and scored before the Argentine had a back and forth with Lille fans, backing it up by saving Nabil Bentaleb’s opening penalty.

      In between Bentaleb and Ollie Watkins’ penalty, Villa’s number one was then booked for a second time in the match for once again inciting the Lille supporters but a technicality in the rules means that his original yellow did not count so he remained in net. Watkins, after a long wait, hammered into the top corner.



      Things then tilted in Lille’s favour when Jonathan David and Angel Gomes scored either side of Matty Cash because Leon Bailey stepped up and was denied by Chevalier. Remy Cabella blasted high to put the pressure on Douglas Luiz but he held his nerve to slot home.

      Lille captain Benjamin Andre eventually stepped up and, of course, had his effort blocked by Emiliano Martinez to win Villa a dramatic quarter-final. The Villa ‘keeper then celebrated by giving the Lille fans a jig and then running the length of the pitch to celebrate with the travelling fans.

      The big picture: Paulo Fonseca and Lille have enjoyed a really impressive campaign as they challenge for UEFA Champions League qualification in Ligue 1. They were excellent over both legs but will now have to focus on a top three finish in France. Aston Villa are competing with Tottenham Hotspur for a top four spot in the Premier League but will surely sense a real chance to earn themselves some silverware. 

      Man of the match: Emiliano Martinez. Some will love what he does and some will hate it but it is a fair statement to say he was entirely defining, once again, in a dramatic penalty shootout. 



      ’15 | GOAL: Yazici (1-0)

      ’28 | INJURY: Zaniolo


      ’68 | GOAL: Cash [og] (2-0)

      ’87 | GOAL: Cash (2-1)


      Extra-time kick-off

      Extra-time half-time

      Extra-time full-time


      Penalties (3-4)


      Would you like to comment? Just register!!
      2024-04-18 22h28m by gkingsley
      As a fan of Aston Villa, I am absolutely buzzing about our win against Lille in the UEFA Europa Conference League! Martinez was on fire in the penalty shootout, securing our spot in the semi-finals. The team played with incredible determination and I couldn't be prouder.
      2024-04-18 22h20m by eyoungs8
      Wow, what a nail-biting match between Lille and Aston Villa! As a Villa fan, I have to admit that Martinez really showed his goalkeeping skills during that intense penalty shootout. Proud of our boys for making it through to the semis of the Europa Conference League. Let's keep this momentum going!
      2024-04-18 21h44m by lhalliday_bart
      Comment: Amazing game, full of excitement and nail-biting moments. Martinez once again proved to be the hero in the penalty shootout. Proud of my team, let's go Villains!
      2024-04-18 21h32m by sparkerfield
      As a Lille fan, I have to say I am disappointed with the result. Martinez really dominated that penalty shootout and it hurts to see our team lose in such a way. However, I am proud of the effort our boys put in and I have faith that we will bounce back stronger. Let's keep our heads held high and continue supporting our team.
      featured game(s)
      U Thursday, 18 April 2024 - 17:45
      Stade Pierre-Mauroy
      Ivan Kruzliak
      (3-4 pens)
      Yusuf Yazici 15'
      Benjamin André 67'
      Matty Cash 87'


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