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Aston Villa opens with 1-0 win after Martinez penalty save

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Emiliano Martinez saved a penalty on his debut for Aston Villa to help his new team beat 10-man Sheffield United 1-0 in its first English Premier League game of the season on Monday.

Signed from Arsenal last week, Martinez dived to his right to tip aside a penalty from John Lundstram in the 36th minute. By that time, the visitors were a man down because center back John Egan received a straight red card in the 12th minute for tugging back Villa striker Ollie Watkins as they battled to reach a long ball forward.

And Villa eventually made its numerical advantage pay when Ezri Konsa headed home at the back post in the 63rd after fellow center back Tyrone Mings flicked on a corner. Villa didn’t play in the first round because its scheduled match against Manchester City was postponed to give City extra time to recover from playing in the latter stages of the Champions League last season.

Sheffield United has lost both of its games, having been beaten by Wolverhampton on the opening weekend.

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