By Paul Robinson

28th Sep, 2021 | 8:18am

Robinson gushes over 'genius' Martinez after what he saw at Aston Villa

Paul Robinson has heaped praise on Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez for his “great mind games”.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs and England number one hailed the 29-year-old a “genius” for his comments which seemingly unsettled Bruno Fernandes prior to his decisive penalty.

As quoted by the Mirror, Martinez told Cristino Ronaldo to “come and kick” the last-minute spot-kick against Villa on Saturday in earshot of Fernandes, who had the ball in his hands.

Fernandes proceeded to blaze the penalty over the bar and Villa went on to win at Old Trafford for the first time since 2009.

Robinson claimed Martinez’s tactics “put a seed of doubt” in Fernandes’ mind.

“I thought it was brilliant from Martinez,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs. “He plays some great mind games.

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“As a goalkeeper you are not the favourite when it comes to a penalty so anything you can do to give yourself the edge or a slight advantage is worth doing. You want to put that seed of doubt in the striker’s mind.

“Martinez has on multiple occasions proved he is very good in those situations.

“Speaking to Ronaldo in earshot of Fernandes saying, ‘You should take the penalty.’ It is genius. It put that seed of doubt in Fernandes’ mind because everyone’s been wondering who takes free-kicks and penalties now that Ronaldo is there.

“You could see what Martinez was playing at and it immediately put pressure on Fernandes.

“It was very clever from Martinez who for me is one of, if not the best goalkeeper in the Premier League right now. I think he is outstanding.”

In other news, an ex-Premier League referee has claimed Aston Villa ‘got away’ with breaking the law against Man United.