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Aston Villa's Emi Martinez is singled out for high praise by Matty Cash

Matty Cash hailed Emi Martinez “one of the best goalkeepers in the world” after his late heroics helped Villa beat Everton.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez

Martinez denied Anthony Gordon in stoppage time as Villa held on to beat the Toffees 2-1 and record their first win of the season.

The Argentina international had been largely untroubled through the 90 minutes but was there when his team needed him, as the visitors threatened to make a stunning late comeback.

Cash said: “He (Martinez) normally buzzes off clean sheets. The first thing he said to me in the dressing room was: ‘I’m gutted we conceded’. He’s unbelievable. One of the best goalkeepers in the world. To have him there is really good for us. He has made so many big saves for us.”

Villa had been cruising to victory when Emi Buendia tapped home with five minutes to go, doubling the advantage given to them by Danny Ings’ first half strike.

But Lucas Digne put through his own net within 20 seconds of the restart and Villa had to withstand serious pressure through nine minutes of stoppage time.

Cash, who came off with cramp midway through the added minutes, admitted the finish had been stressful viewing but pointed to the team’s resilience as a positive.

Villa were guilty of crumbling under pressure at times last term and Cash explained: “One of the things we’ve said is when we get into winning positions, we have to see it out.

“That is what we did on Saturday. It is one of the things we have focused on as a team and a group. It has been drilled into us that you can’t go 2-0 up and draw 2-2. Saturday, all credit, we did it.

“We have to look at it in terms of our resilience and that we hung on for the win. In that heat, the main thing was getting three points.”

Cash admitted the scorching temperatures had made life tough for both teams and contributed to his early exit.

He said: “The heat was ridiculous. It is the hottest game I have ever played in. That is why my body cramped up.

“The heat affects everything. You lose energy really quick. There must have been at least 10 water breaks. Everything sweats out of you. You just have to try and hang in there.

“It wasn’t a good week (after losing at Bournemouth). We were pretty down. The manager lifted us. We had a plan and felt confident.”

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