Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal player and Erik Lamela send touching messages to Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez

Emi Martinez produced three brilliant saves from the penalty spot as Argentina needed a shootout to defeat Colombia at Copa America. The Aston Villa ace posted on Instagram after his heroics in the semi-final – earning praise from Arsenal’s Joe Willock, and Tottenham’s Erik Lamela.

Martinez, 28, has been in stunning form at Copa America, playing five of Argentina’s six-game run to the final. The Argentine has kept three clean sheets in that time, but he became a national hero on Tuesday night. Three saves from five Colombia penalties saw Argentina go through.

It came after Argentina had drawn with Colombia, 1-1, after 120 minutes. Lautaro Martinez gave Argentina the lead before Porto winger Luis Diaz chipped an equaliser in on 61 minutes. The game went to penalties, and Martinez came out on top. He posted on Instagram after the match.

What have Willock and Lamela told Villa ace Martinez?

Lionel Messi has already heaped enormous praise on Martinez, labelling the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper a “phenomenon”. It comes after a brilliant season with Villa, keeping a huge 15 clean sheets in 38 Premier League matches. His form, though, comes after spending years on the sidelines at Arsenal.

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His decision to move to Villa from the North London club has paid dividends. Now, Willock has paid tribute to his former teammate, as he continues to “prove everyone wrong”. In English, Lamela’s message is: “A crazy thing, friend.”

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