Arsenal news: Emi Martinez delivers honest verdict after breaking former club’s heart | Football | Sport

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez reaffirmed his love for former club Arsenal after severely denting their Premier League title hopes in Sunday’s 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium. The animated stopper paused his post-match celebrations by showing respect to Arsenal and Mikel Arteta on a momentous day in north London.

Martinez joined the Gunners’ academy from Independiente in 2010, making 38 senior appearances and completing six different loan moves before joining Aston Villa in a £20million deal in 2020.

He was the bane of Arteta’s existence this weekend, keeping a clean sheet to haunt his former club alongside Unai Emery and derail their title challenge.

Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins’ 84th and 87th-minute strikes stunned the Emirates, punishing a toothless display from the hosts, dazzled by the bright lights of the title race for a second straight season.

Villa’s victory strengthened their bid for Champions League football and handed Manchester City a two-point lead at the Premier League summit.

However, Martinez remained respectful after full-time, paying tribute to the club where he spent over a decade of his career before moving to Villa Park.

“I spent 11 years here. I still love the club, I still have friends here,” Martinez, standing alongside Watkins, told Sky Sports.

Watch all the Premier League and Champions League drama unfold on TNT Sports

“When you spend 10 years of your life at a place where you come in as a young boy and leave as a man, there’s still a special connection there.

“They’re still second, they play in the Champions League in four days’ time, and they have one of the best managers in the world.

“They’ve come far and have one of the best managers in the world. I’ve worked with Mikel [Arteta]. I know how good he is.

“I think they’ll be fine. They’ll put in a really good performance against whoever they play next week.”

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