Emiliano Martinez survives two yellow cards as Villa beat Lille in dramatic penalty shoot-out

Emiliano Martinez celebrates saving Lille's Nabil Bentaleb penalty during the penalty shootout
Emi Martinez played pantomime villain during the shoot-out - Reuters/Stephanie Lecocq

Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (agg 3-3; Villa win 4-3 on penalties)

Whatever the occasion, however hostile the environment, Emiliano Martinez is the undisputed king of the penalty shoot-out.

Martinez simply thrives on these pressure cooker situations and took centre stage again to leave Lille as both the hero and villain, after an utterly absorbing European night.

Sixteen months after playing a key role in helping Argentina beat France in the World Cup Final, Les Bleus’ Public Enemy No. 1 was the spot-kick destroyer to extend Unai Emery’s magical record in Europe.

Saving penalties from Nabil Bentaleb and Benjamin Andre, Martinez turned to the Lille fans to perform a dance after the final kick before running the length of the pitch to the Villa fans sitting high in Stade Pierre-Mauroy as chants of “Emi Martinez, the world’s No. 1” echoed around the stunned stadium.

He was also booked twice, with the second caution for inciting the crowd shortly after saving Bentaleb’s penalty.

Martinez clearly feared he would be sent off, yet avoided a red card as the rules stipulate that cautions during the 120 minutes cannot be carried into penalties.

Villa are now preparing for a semi-final next month, with their hopes of ending a 28-year wait for silverware remaining improbably alive. They are the last English team left standing in Europe, as Liverpool and West Ham both failed to overturn deficits in the Europa League to follow both Arsenal and Manchester City in crashing out of European competition on Wednesday night.

Villa will face Greek giants Olympiakos, the side that also falls under the control of Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis, in a two-legged semi-final next month and Emery’s experience in Europe remains their most potent weapon.

This was hardly a classic European performance from Emery, the serial trophy winner, but provided further evidence that the best managers can also rely on fortune from time to time.

With Martinez between the posts, anything is possible.

Aston Villa's goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez save the ball from a penalty during Europa Conference League quarter final second leg soccer match between Lille and Aston Villa at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, northern France, Thursday, April 18, 2024. Aston Villa is in semi finals as beat Lille in penalties 4-3
Martinez made two saves in the shoout-out - AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Emery said: “Emi is very important for us, he has his personality and his personality in the dressing room is very important.

“He’s a leader with the players. He’s really brilliant, his mentality, he has his personality when he plays as well.

“In the shoot out he was fantastic to save two and I’m very proud. He is always under control.”

Martinez was always assured of a hostile reception here. His fractious relationship with France was sparked off after the post-match scenes after Argentina’s World Cup win in Qatar.

After making a lewd gesture with his Golden Glove trophy, he then provoked France’s star forward Kylian Mbappe in the celebrations.

He was booed throughout this second leg and riot police were placed in front of the home supporters as chaos broke out during the shoot-out. Objects were also hurled at the 31 year old, who seems to relish it more when the stakes are so high.

Yet it was inevitable that he would be the pivotal figure of the evening, and so it proved.

Emery is now dreaming of another trophy to accompany the four Europa Leagues he has already lifted in his career.

“We have our priority as well in the Conference League to be a contender and get a trophy, it will be difficult of course,” he said. “We are involved.

“We are taking experiences in Europe and some players and coaches can try to help or use our experiences in any circumstance. Lille was a difficult match and a difficult team when we got them in the draw.

“They are very competitive, they were focusing on these two matches without playing in the league. I think in the end it was fantastic.”

Lille’s late consolation goal at Villa Park always appeared likely to be crucial and there was a predictably intense start from the hosts. Villa could not cope.

The opening goal had an air of inevitability about it and came after 15 minutes. Gabriel Gudmundsson’s wickedly inswinging cross from the left was inviting and Yusuf Yazici swept the ball home from 12 yards.

Lille have scored in every home game this season and Villa were suffering, incapable of stringing passes together and lacking any intensity.

Nicolo Zaniolo departed with an injury after 28 minutes and shortly before half-time Martinez picked up the first booking for time-wasting.

In the first-half, leading scorer Ollie Watkins touched the ball just five times. Remarkably, it was also the first time in two years Villa had not registered a shot on target in an opening 45 minutes.

Villa were better in the second half but Lille added a second goal after a period of sustained pressure when Benjamin Andre headed in Hakan Arnar Haraldsson’s corner.

It was not until the 83rd minute that Lille goalkeeper Lucas Chevalier was forced into his first save, tipping over a 20-yard shot from Matty Cash.

Yet Villa forced extra-time when Chevalier spilled the ball after colliding with Nabil Bentaleb and Cash’s shot went in with a deflection.

Chevalier then produced an amazing double save from Leon Bailey and Douglas Luiz, also denying Villa substitute Jhon Duran from close range in the final seconds of extra time.

In a frantic climax, Cash was also fortunate to escape being penalised for handball following a Var review.

Martinez, however, was not to be denied another famous night. Who knocked ‘Les Dogues’ out?

Match details

Lille (4-2-3-1) Chevalier 7; T Santos 8, Yoro 7, Diakite 7, Ismaily 7; Andre 7, Bentaleb 7; Yazici 7 (Cavaleiro 87), Haraldsson 7 (Gomes 77), Gudmundsson 7 (Cabella 90); David 7. Substitutes Mannone (g), Negrel (g), Alexsandro, Ounas, Morais, Bouaddi, Toure, Ferrah. Booked: Bentaleb, Andre, Santos, Gomes.

Villa (4-2-3-1): Martinez 9; Cash 5, Konsa 6, Torres 7, Digne 6; Tielemans 6, Douglas Luiz 6; Diaby 4 (Bailey 69), McGinn 5 (Duran 80), Zaniolo 5 (Rogers 28); Watkins 6. Substitutes Gauci (g), Olsen (g), Carlos, Lenglet, Kesler-Hayden, Bailey, Iroegbunam, Munroe, Kellyman. Booked: Zaniolo, Martinez, Digne, Rogers, Duran, Watkins.

Referee: Ivan Kruzliak (Slovakia)

Emi Martinez saves two penalties in shoot-out: as it happened

09:22 PM BST

Who will Villa play next?

Villa are awaiting the winner of Olympiacos vs Fenerbahce.

As I type, Fenerbache lead 1-0 on the night and it is 3-3 on aggregate.

09:17 PM BST

Why Emiliano Martinez was not sent off despite second yellow card

If you were confused by what happened with Martinez in the shoot-out, everything is explained right here.

09:10 PM BST

Martinez rally cry

This group of players and manager are special. The owners are really involved as well - Wes and Nassef are always behind us so it feels like we are going to do something special.

I don’t know if it’s Champions League, I don’t know if it’s the Conference League but we will try to do everything we can for this football club.

Lille vs Aston Villa: Score and latest updates from Europa Conference League
Aston Villa's goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saves the penalty - AP/Christophe Ena

09:00 PM BST

More from Martinez

I’ve just got a bad repuation for time wasting because the other goalie was doing exactly the same and I get booked after 30 minutes and we are losing the game so I don’t know what the ref wants from me.

There was no ball on the penalty spot and I’m asking the ball boy for a ball and I get booked. I just don’t understand the rules.

08:55 PM BST

Martinez reacts

It’s been a hell of a ride my whole career. I’m always a believer and a hard worker and it was my destiny to win here again.

Lille vs Aston Villa: Score and latest updates from Europa Conference League
Emiliano Martinez may need protection to leave Lille tonight - Reuters/Stephanie Lecocq

08:46 PM BST

Emery loves European cup competitions

08:41 PM BST

Martinez controversy

IFAB law 10 states:

Warnings and cautions (YCs) issued during the match (including during extra time) are not carried forward into kicks from the penalty mark (KFPM). A player who receives a YC during both the match and the KFPM is not sent off.  The two separate cautions are reported to the appropriate authorities.

So Martinez was not sent off. He was just given another yellow card. I bet he didn’t know the law. Or maybe he did hence his antics. Either way he is the hero for Villa tonight.

08:36 PM BST

PENALTIES: Lille 3 Aston Villa 4

Andre to take... MARTINEZ SAVES IT!!!!! Poor penalty.

He does a little jig in front of the Lille fans. He is then mobbed by his team-mates. There are Lille kids crying in the stands.

08:34 PM BST

PENALTIES: Lille 3 Aston Villa 4

Luiz to take... he does a shutter step and drills the ball into the bottom left corner.

08:33 PM BST

PENALTIES: Lille 3 Aston Villa 3

Cabella to take... he smashes it right down the middle. Pressure on Villa now...

08:32 PM BST

PENALTIES: Lille 2 Aston Villa 3

Bailey to take... he goes to the right, Chevalier dives the right way, it is a good height and the keeper saves it.

08:31 PM BST

PENALTIES: Lille 2 Aston Villa 3

Gomes to take... he takes a step, pauses and fires into the bottom left corner.

08:30 PM BST

PENALTIES: Lille 1 Aston Villa 3

Cash to take... he sends Chevalier the wrong way, shooting into the bottom left.

08:30 PM BST

PENALTIES: Lille 1 Aston Villa 2

David shoots down the middle and Martinez dives the wrong way.

It appears the ref showed Martinez a yellow card as a warning.

08:29 PM BST

PENALTIES: Lille 0 Aston Villa 2

Watkins slips but his shot is fired into the top corner.

08:28 PM BST

PENALTIES: Lille 0 Aston Villa 1

Bentaleb goes right right... Martinez dives and saves it. He puts his finger to his lips and Lille fans go mad.

MARTINEZ SENT OFF?! He gestures to the crowd and the ref has yellow card in his hand. Martinez has not been sent off.

08:25 PM BST

PENALTIES: Lille 0 Aston Villa 1

Tielemans with the first kick of the shoot out and he finishes cooll with Chevalier going the wrong way.

08:23 PM BST

Martinez would love to end Lille’s tournament

Lille vs Aston Villa: Score and latest updates from Europa Conference League
Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez - Reuters/Stephanie Lecocq

08:20 PM BST

FULL TIME Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)


08:19 PM BST

120mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Was that the moment for Villa. Rogers pulls the ball back to Duran, who turns expertly and fires a shot that is saved by Chevalier.

One minute added on...

08:18 PM BST

119mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Bailey takes it... but the ball is too near the keeper who collects easily. That was poor.

08:17 PM BST

118mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Corner to Villa with 90 seconds to go...

08:16 PM BST

117mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Gomes trips Rogers and earns himself a booking.

08:13 PM BST

114mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Lille want a penalty after the ball touches Cash’s arm. VAR looks at it but says no penalty.

Relief for Villa.

08:11 PM BST

112mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

The noise level is going up again as Lille pass and probe and try to break down Villa’s defence.

08:08 PM BST

109mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Watkins picks up a yellow card after his catches Ismaily with his elbow. The defender has a huge lump on his forehead.

08:07 PM BST

107mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

That did not miss by much. Lille work the ball well and it’s cut back to Santos, who fires a shot that flies just past the post.

08:05 PM BST

Second half of extra time: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Into the final 15 mins of the match. Will either team go for it? Are they content with penalties?

08:02 PM BST

HT in extra time: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Nothing to separate the sides. 15 extra mins to come.

07:59 PM BST

102mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Back comes Lille with the home crowd re-energised by that moment with Chevalier...

07:58 PM BST

99mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Stunning double save by Chevalier! Bailey cuts inside and whips a lovely shot towards the far post that is palmed aside. The ball falls onto the head of Luiz, who guides his header rather than going for power and Chevalier flicks the ball over the bar.

07:53 PM BST

95mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Still seen very little of the man below. Will his moment come?

Lille vs Aston Villa: Score and latest updates from Europa Conference League
Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins - Getty Images/Franco Arland

07:50 PM BST

92mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Bizarrely Villa have gone back to sitting off and slowing the tempo again. It’s allowing Lille to take the initiative and control of the match.

07:48 PM BST

Extra time: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

On we go. Who has the legs to get the job done now or will it take penalties?

Lille sub: 

Off: Gudmundsson
On: Cabella

07:44 PM BST

FULL TIME: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

That’s it. We head into extra time in Lille. Emery’s men keep their European dreams alive by the narrowest margin.

30 mins of extra football to come.

07:40 PM BST

90+4mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Corner to Lille. The ball is swung in and Diakite rises to meet it but his header is straight at Martinez.

07:36 PM BST

90mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Five minutes of added time.

07:36 PM BST

89mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg)

Duran crashes into the back of Santos. It’s a heavy collision and both players are down. But the ref attaches blame to Duran and the Villa sub is booked.

07:34 PM BST

88mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 1 (3-3 agg) GOAL

Chevalier crashes into Bentaleb as he looks to claim a high cross. He spills the ball, Duran’s shot is blocked but the ball falls to Cash, who smashes a shot from the edge of the box that takes a deflection and flies into the net.

Lille players are furious. They think their keeper was fouled. But he wasn’t and after a VAR check the goal is given.

A lifeline for Villa.

07:31 PM BST

86mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 0 (3-2 agg)

Lille sub: 

Off: Yazici
On: Cavaleiro

07:30 PM BST

84mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 0 (3-2 agg)

Another shot on target for Villa. This time from Bailey but the ball is comfortably collected by Chevalier.

Will Watkins get a chance before time runs out?

07:28 PM BST

82mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 0 (3-2 agg)

A shot on target at last from Villa. Cash is given space from distance and he hits a shot that Chevalier palms away for a corner.

07:27 PM BST

81mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 0 (3-2 agg)

Into the final 10 minutes. The clock is ticking on Villa’s adventures in Europe.

07:24 PM BST

79mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 0 (3-2 agg)

Villa sub: 

Off: McGinn
On: Duran

07:22 PM BST

77mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 0 (3-2 agg)

Lille sub: 

Off: Haraldsson
On: Gomes

07:21 PM BST

76mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 0 (3-2 agg)

Rogers is now booked for a push on Santos as he was bursting through.

07:19 PM BST

73mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 0 (3-2 agg)

Now it is Lille taking their time and trying to protect what they have. Villa have upped the tempo and intensity but they still haven’t had a shot on target.

07:16 PM BST

70mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 0 (3-2 agg)

Villa have to take risks after a very safe game plan up to now. They have 20 minutes to stay in Europe!

07:14 PM BST

67mins: Lille 2 Aston Villa 0 (3-2 agg) GOAL

Is that the game? Lille get what they deserve. The ball is whipped into the box by Haraldsson from a corner, Andre rises to meet it and his flicked header flies past Martinez and goes in off the post.

Immediate sub by Emery. As expected, Diaby off Bailey on.

07:12 PM BST

64mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Can’t long till we see Bailey for Villa. Diaby has offered very little tonight but the whole team performance has been way below par.

Are they paying the price for their efforts against Arsenal?

07:07 PM BST

60mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Lille are upping the pressure and Villa are struggling to get out of their half.

Digne takes out Santos, who has been very impressive, and gets booked.

07:04 PM BST

‘Emery to complete a smash and grab?’

Villa are still in this, and that is surely what Unai Emery will have been telling his players at half-time.

After winning so many quarter-finals in the past, Emery will be acutely aware of how tight matches like this can change in an instant.

Villa were dreadful in the first-half but the pressure remains on Lille to score again. Emery to complete a smash and grab?

07:02 PM BST

55mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

First spell of prolonged possession for Villa ends with their first shot of the match. They work the ball from left to right.

Diaby slips in McGinn in the box and the skipper reverses the ball back to an onrushing Cash, who shoots into the side netting.

He will be disappointed not to get that effort on target.

06:57 PM BST

50mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Villa are continued to not panic and play the ball around the back but they need to up the tempo and get it forward quicker.

For the first time in two years, Villa didn’t have any shots in the first half!

06:52 PM BST

Second half: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

We are back underway and within 30 seconds a let off for Villa.

Tielemans is dispossessed 30 yards out by Haraldsson. The midfielder bursts forward but drags his shot wide of the post.

A warning for Villa.

06:36 PM BST

HALF TIME: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Villa see out the half and get to the break still intact but they have been rocked.

Work to do for Emery in the dressing room.

Lille vs Aston Villa: Score and latest updates from Europa Conference League
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery - Reuters/Stephanie Lecocq

06:31 PM BST

‘Watkins is completely isolated’

Remarkable stat here after 43 minutes that Ollie Watkins has touched the ball just five times so far.

Watkins has been outstanding this season, and is contention for the Golden Boot, but is completely isolated.

Villa need to urgently get him involved if they are to get anything out of this tie.

No love lost between Unai Emery and Paulo Fonseca either -  both managers have been booked for another confrontation in the technical area.

In the first leg, Emery’s assistant Pako Ayesteran was sent off at half-time following a clash between both benches.

06:30 PM BST

45mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Four minutes added on.

06:30 PM BST

44mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Another yellow card, this time for Andre, who hauls down Watkins.

The referee then runs to the touchline and books Emery and Fonseca.

The ref is dishing out cards like it’s Christmas.

06:27 PM BST

41mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Bentaleb stops a Villa counter with a cynical pull back on Tielemans. He’s the latest name in the referee’s book.

06:25 PM BST

38mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

The home fans love it. The referee has had enough of Martinez’s time wasting and books him.

06:22 PM BST

35mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Villa need to move the ball quicker. It’s all too slow at the moment and Lille continue to look dangerous whenever they get the ball.

06:17 PM BST

31mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

A sign of how rattled Villa are - McGinn tries to combine with Cash but kicks the ball straight out of play.

06:14 PM BST

28mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Zaniolo is down now for Villa and being accessed by the medical team. He was clattered on the half way line and it doesn’t look good for him. A stretcher is brought out. The Italian doesn’t use it and walks off the pitch gingerly.

Emery takes Zaniolo off and brings on Rogers.

Lille vs Aston Villa: Score and latest updates from Europa Conference League
Aston Villa's Nicolo Zaniolo receives treatment - AP/Christophe Ena

06:12 PM BST

24mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Santos is down again after being knocked off balance by Torres on the far side. Free kick in a dangerous position...

Yazici takes it, Andre rises to meet it and connects well but the ball hits Martinez in the face and goes out for a corner.

Incredible block. Martinez is down and in need for treatment. He looks a bit dazed.

06:07 PM BST

‘That the Lille goal was coming’

You have to say that the Lille goal was coming.

An even bigger test ahead for Villa now, with the tie level and with Unai Emery’s players also up against some pretty daunting statistics.

Lille haven’t lost at home since September and have the best record in Ligue 1.

Huge challenge ahead for Emery, the European master.

06:07 PM BST

21mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

Zaniolo is shown a yellow card after coming together with Santos as Villa tried to launch a counter attack.

06:06 PM BST

19mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg)

First chance for Villa to put some pressure on the home side. McGinn has a free kick from half way inside the Lille half.

He whips it in and Santos is forced to head over his own bar. From the resulting corner, McGinn’s cross goes straight into the arms of Chevalier.

06:02 PM BST

15mins: Lille 1 Aston Villa 0 (2-2 agg) GOAL

Lille’s promising start gets its reward. Gudmundsson gets down the left and fires a ball across the penalty area to Yazici, who fires first time into the bottom corner.

Brilliant finish. Martinez no chance. Game on!

05:58 PM BST

12mins: Lille 0 Aston Villa 0 (1-2 agg)

Yet to see much of Watkins and Diaby so far. If they can’t get into the game, Bailey is a very good option off the bench for Emery.

05:55 PM BST

Tiago Santos: one to watch

Worth keeping an eye on Lille’s right-back Tiago Santos tonight.

The Portuguese was outstanding in the first-leg at Villa Park and is already establishing a very good reputation at the age of 21.

Signed to a six-year deal from Estoril last summer, he is the latest Lille youngster expected to fetch big money in the next few months or years.

05:55 PM BST

9mins: Lille 0 Aston Villa 0 (1-2 agg)

Nervy moment for Martinez. He flaps at a corner but just about gets away with it as Villa clear. Moments later David toe pokes a shot that goes high over the bar.

Home fans are bouncing.

05:51 PM BST

6mins: Lille 0 Aston Villa 0 (1-2 agg)

Lille on the front foot in the early stages. They are dominating the ball but Villa are happy to sit off in a mid-block and protect their lead.

05:48 PM BST

3mins: Lille 0 Aston Villa 0 (1-2 agg)

First boos for Martinez as he get a touch on the ball. They really don’t like him in France!

05:47 PM BST

‘A big night for Paulo Fonseca’

While this is a huge night for Aston Villa and Unai Emery, it feels like a big one for Paulo Fonseca too.

He is the manager who has seemingly been linked to every available Premier League job over the past 18 months or so, without ever getting one.

Earlier this month, the Portuguese was even linked with West Ham. Whether it’s just an agent working very hard on Fonseca’s behalf, or some of the links are actually true, we will soon find out.

Fonseca’s contract is up in the summer and how his side finish this season, along with Lille’s ambitions, will clearly determine what happens next.

Lille vs Aston Villa: Score and latest updates from Europa Conference League
Lille head coach Paulo Fonseca - Getty Images/James Baylis

05:45 PM BST

Kick Off: Lille vs Aston Villa

Deafening atmosphere at the Stade Pierre Mauroy. Can Villa handle the pressure?

Here we go!

05:42 PM BST

Reminder of the teams

Lille: Chevalier, Santos, Diakite, Yoro, Ismaily, Andre, Bentaleb, Yazici, Arnar Haraldsson, Gudmundsson, David.
Subs: Mannone, Alexsandro Victor, Gomes, Cabella, Ounas, Ivan Cavaleiro, Tiago Morais, Bouaddi, Toure, Ferrah, Negrel.

Aston Villa: Martinez, Konsa, Cash, Torres, Digne, Tielemans, Douglas Luiz, Diaby, McGinn, Zaniolo, Watkins.
Subs: Diego Carlos, Lenglet, Gauci, Duran, Olsen, Rogers, Kesler-Hayden, Bailey, Iroegbunam, Munroe, Kellyman.
Referee: Ivan Kruzliak (Slovakia)

05:35 PM BST

VIDEO: Lille fans react to Martinez

05:31 PM BST

Emiliano Martinez: the man who France love to hate

There’s also some added spice and agg to crank up this quarter-final in northern France.

Step forward Emiliano Martinez, the man who France love to hate after his antics in Argentina’s World Cup win in 2022.

The Villa goalkeeper angered the French nation when he made a lewd gesture with his Golden Glove trophy, later provoking star forward Kylian Mbappe.

Martinez came out for the warm-up earlier and though the stadium was only half-full the reception was very hostile.

On top of that, Lille manager Paulo Fonseca has irritated Villa by complaining about how they blocked his players in set-pieces last week.

Fonseca used his press conference on Wednesday to outline his feelings further, revealing that he had spoken with one “international French referee” to seek his opinions.

Villa are understood to be annoyed that Fonseca was dangerously close to pressurising the Slovakian referee Ivan Kruzliak before kick-off.

05:20 PM BST

Emiliano Martínez warms up

Lille vs Aston Villa: Full lineups as Douglas Luiz returns for visitors
Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez prepares for the game - Reuters/Stephanie Lecocq

05:12 PM BST

‘Feels like a special night ahead’

Lille are expecting a near 50,000 sell-out crowd at Stade Pierre Mauroy and it certainly feels like a special night ahead.

Unai Emery’s incredible record will be put to the test, with the Villa manager winning his last seven quarter-finals in European competitions.

Villa are also hunting their first semi-final in Europe since 1982 yet will face a significant challenge from Lille.

Paulo Fonseca’s team have the best home record in Ligue 1 and only PSG and Monaco have scored more goals this season.

Villa hold a slender 2-1 advantage and we will soon find out how crucial Lille’s late consolation goal in last week’s first leg turns out to be.

05:01 PM BST

Villa team news explained

Unai Emery has made two changes from the team that beat Arsenal 2-0 on Sunday.

Matty Cash returns to the defence in place of Diego Carlos, while Douglas Luiz comes in for Morgan Rogers in midfield.

Academy youngsters Finley Munroe and Omari Kellyman are among the subs.

04:53 PM BST

This time last week...

04:46 PM BST

Lille starting XI

04:38 PM BST

Aston Villa starting XI

04:34 PM BST

Last four in sight for Villa

Hello and welcome to coverage from the Europa Conference League as Aston Villa look to book their place in the semi-finals by overcoming French side Lille.

The Premier League club come into the match on the back of an impressive 2-0 over Arsenal on Sunday. They also lead 2-1 from the first leg at Villa Park last week and have sights on reaching a first European semi-final since 1982.

And Emery says his side will have to be as good as they were against Arsenal if they are to beat Lille. Emery said: “We have to play two matches; the first leg we won but it’s not enough.

“We knew before the match it would be very difficult and they showed their capacity, their power and that they’re very motivated for this competition. When we are in Europe we have to be focused and very demanding if we want to get something here. Now is the moment to show our capacity.

“Playing against a team like Lille, they are very motivated and they are a very organised team. The result at Villa Park was not enough for us or for them. We have to enjoy an amazing day, an amazing match being very demanding. We are ready to play and we are aware of the difficulties we are going to face.

“It was a very good result for us in the Premier League but we are trying to separate those competitions. Our motivation in the Premier League is to get a European position.”

Villa will be without left-back Alex Moreno who faces two-to-three weeks out with a calf injury but Douglas Luiz returns from his domestic suspension.

Lille boss Paulo Fonseca said Villa have no obvious weaknesses.

“It’s hard to find weak points to this team, really,” he said at his pre-match press conference.

“We need to understand the way they play. The Arsenal game was a great example because they defend well, they are very quick and swift. Their counter attacks are very fast so we need to figure out what we have to do. They always wait for the right moments to counter. It’s one of the best teams in transition that I have seen in all major championships.”