Aston Villa boss hails 'fantastic' player after Chelsea draw

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
Chelsea v Aston Villa - Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has labelled Emi Martinez as 'fantastic' after their 0-0 draw away at Chelsea last night in the FA Cup.

Martinez, 31, made a string of saves to keep out the Blues and help his side earn a replay against their Premier League rivals.

Aston Villa had 42% possession in the clash at Stamford Bridge and had to ride their luck at times. However, they held out well and remain in the draw for the fifth round of the competition and will fancy their chances of beating their opponents at Villa Park.

Emery was pleased with the performance yesterday and was impressed by his number one. He said, as per the official club website: "Clean sheets are always important and our goalkeeper Emiliano was fantastic.

“Defensively we were defending very well – lower than we wanted they were demanding that of us.

“We did a fantastic job and were progressively getting better. We changed the game a little bit and controlled the match.

“This draw is fair for both teams and we’re going to decide the match in the replay.”

Martinez has been a key player for Aston Villa since joining them in 2020. He has made 138 appearances in all competitions for the Midlands outfit to date, 20 of which have come this term.

Prior to his move three-and-a-half years ago, he played for Arsenal but only ended up featuring for their first-team on 38 occasions and instead had many loan spells away with teams like Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading.

Emery's men are back in action next week with a home clash against Newcastle United. They then head to Bramall Lane to take on Sheffield United to kick-start February.

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