03 August 2020 06:30

Arsenal F.C. Emiliano Martínez Shkodran Mustafi

Arsenal's Emi Martinez reacts to FA Cup Final 'handball' claims with Pokemon joke

FA Cup winning goalkeeper Emi Martinez says that the players are determined to give Arsenal fans more after a disappointing season in general, but hopes they're proud after the 2-1 win over Chelsea. The 27 year old's career progression has been far from easy, but he was an assured presence between the sticks at Wembley yesterday, capping what has been a fantastic run in the team following Bernd Leno's injury against Brighton. "I think we made the Arsenal fans really proud today. Martinez was emotional after the game, breaking down in tears on BBC in his post-match interview, overcome with the significance of the occasion after 10 years in North London. "I felt really confident even before the game and in the semi final and all the way through in the FA Cup," he said.

Emi Martinez isn't about to let a little controversy get in the way of his fairytale FA Cup triumph. With Arsenal's number one goalkeeper Bernd Leno out injured since late June, Martinez has proven a capable deputy for Mikel Arteta's Gunners. Having spent 10 years at the club, the Argentine was afforded a dream start in Saturday's FA Cup Final against Chelsea - and Martinez and his defence held their nerve as the Gunners fought back from a goal down to win 2-1. Martinez fought back tears at the final whistle, reflecting on what the moment meant for both him and his family in Argentina. He said on BBC One: "When we started losing, everything looked against us, but..

Martinez told Arsenal's site: "I've worked really hard at the club for 10 years for opportunities like this. There was a controversial moment involving Martinez which angered Chelsea fans: with Arsenal leading 2-1 in the second half, the keeper came to claim a ball on the edge of his area - and replays proved inconclusive as to whether he handled the ball outside the area. The photo shows Martinez catching the ball on the line, with the caption: "My best moment at Wembley was catching a pokemon #pikachu" - a reference to the advertising hoardings to the side of the pitch. Saturday, August 1, 2020, is a day that will live long in the memory of Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. Having stepped out of the cold to fill in for the injured Bernd Leno in recent weeks, the Argentine got the chance to line-up in one of the most famous fixtures in world football on Saturday, helping Arsenal defeat Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley to lift the FA Cup for the 14th time in their rich and colourful history.

However, the Gunners drew themselves level when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tucked away a 28th-minute penalty after being hauled down inside the penalty area by Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta. And midway through the second half, Aubameyang was at it again, this time scoring a delicious chipped effort to put Arsenal on their way to their first trophy of the Arteta era. The final 23 minutes of the contest, following Aubameyang's second, though, did not pass without incident, as Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic was controversially sent-off for a second bookable offence, a decision which left Blues chief Frank Lampard scathing with referee Anthony Taylor. Blues substitute Tammy Abraham was adamant that the Arsenal shot-stopper had handled a long-ball forward outside the penalty area, which prompted a VAR review. After a few moments, VAR reached a verdict that will have no doubt come as a major relief to Martinez and his Arsenal teammates, as the replay showed that the Gunners goalkeeper had claimed the ball just inside his 18-yard box, much to the relief of Arteta.

With the incident not having had any impact on Arsenal's quest to lay their hands on the FA Cup for the second time in four years, Martinez has now seen the funny side of the incident, taking to social media to share a rather fitting joke. At the time of when Martinez claimed the ball inside the penalty area, the Wembley advertising boards were displaying an advert about the much-loved video game Pokemon. And the fact that Pokemon was being advertised at the time Martinez claimed the ball has prompted a joke from the former Reading and Sheffield Wednesday loanee, insisting that he was carrying out his very best efforts to catch Pikachu, who is arguably the most popular face of the game. On Instagram, Martinez, sharing a picture of him catching the ball, said: "My best moment at Wembley was catching a Pokemon. He had worked incredibly hard to be able to live that moment and it clearly meant everything to him when he broke down in an interview with BBC Sport following the full-time whistle.

The Video Assistant Referee did check to see whether Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez handled the ball outside of the penalty box. At a key stage in the match with the Gunners defending their 2-1 lead, Martinez rushed to the edge of his area to claim the ball. Television replays were unable to show conclusively if the Argentine's hands followed his feet outside of the area, prompting backlash from Chelsea supporters on social media. And VAR did look at the incident in the background while play continued and deemed the ball was on the line even though Martinez's feet were outside of the box. The goalkeeper also ensured his name was cleared by posting a photo showing the ball to be in line with the edge of the area in an amusing Instagram post on Sunday. Referencing the Pokemon advertising boards in the background of the picture, Martinez captioned his post: "My best moment at Wembley was catching a pokemon #pikachu Replacing injured No.1 Bernd Leno, the 27-year-old has proved himself worthy of consideration for a starting role with his important saves and excellent aerial claims. After 10 years on the books with the Gunners, he was overcome with emotion as he reflected on his achievement after the final. That shows, that winning this game and this trophy makes us so happy." ARSENAL stars Emiliano Martinez and Lucas Torreira celebrated their FA Cup triumph with a late-night trip to McDonalds. The Gunners won the competition for a record 14th time thanks to two goals from captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. 3 Lucas Torreira uploaded this photo of him and team-mate Emiliano Martinez grabbing some late-night grub Credit: Instagram / @ltorreira34 Both players had beaming smiles, while it was left to safe-hands goalkeeper Martinez to hold the McDelivery haul. Martinez has been one of the stars of Project Restart for the Gunners after replacing the injured Bernd Leno between the sticks. He was understandably emotional after the game at Wembley and broke down in tears when asked about his proud family watching on. Two-goal hero Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was branded the GOAT by his team-mates as the players celebrated their success. 3 Arsenal won the FA Cup for a record-breaking 14th time Credit: Getty Images - Getty