Aston Villa handed additional injury concern after Emi Martinez goes off vs Chelsea

Martinez was forced off injured
Martinez was forced off injured -Credit:DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images

Aston Villa will be sweating over the fitness of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez after the Argentine was substituted at half-time against Chelsea in Saturday's 2-2 draw.

The 31-year-old was seen feeling his leg towards the end of the first half and was replaced by Robin Olsen, 34, at the break amid a suspected hamstring problem. This followed the early exit of Youri Tielemans on 27 minutes, who was seen clutching his groin.

The hosts surrendered a two-goal lead with Noni Madueke and Conor Gallagher cancelling out Marc Cucurella’s own goal and Morgan Rogers’ strike in the first half. Chelsea thought they had won it in added time when Axel Disasi headed home until VAR judged there to have been a push in the build-up.

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Villa looked more vulnerable after the withdrawal of Martinez, who has only missed two Premier League matches this season and has been instrumental in the club’s top-four pursuit.

He will not be available for the Europa Conference League semi-final first leg against Olympiakos on Thursday due to a yellow card suspension. But Unai Emery may be fearing that he might be without his first-choice goalkeeper for more than the one match thanks to his injury concern.

Martinez feels his hamstring
Martinez received treatment on his hamstring -Credit:DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)

Olsen - who made a crucial save while one-on-one with Cole Palmer deep in stoppage time - has played seven times this season, of which three have come in the Premier League. He has kept two clean sheets this term, albeit neither was in a league game.

Leading up the match, Villa already had an injury list of six players, with Nicolo Zaniolo and Alex Moreno missing out with setbacks. Meanwhile, Boubacar Kamara, Emiliano Buendia, Tyrone Mings and Jacob Ramsey will not play again this season due to their long-term problems.