Julian Alvarez responds to Kepa’s attempt to copy Martinez’s World Cup penalty mind games


Julian Alvarez insists he was not put off by Kepa Arrizabalaga’s attempt at mind games before his penalty in Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola’s side eased to victory at the Etihad Stadium with a double from Riyad Mahrez, while Alvarez and Phil Foden also scored.

Alvarez took City’s penalty in the first half following Kai Havertz’s blatant handball inside Chelsea’s area.

But as he was preparing to take the spot kick, Kepa Arrizabalaga tried to copy the penalty mind games of Emi Martinez. He stood a yard away from the ball and began to speak with Alvarez.

The Chelsea goalkeeper dived the right way for Alvarez’s effort but the World Cup winner still managed to score with his effort which doubled City’s lead.

When asked about Kepa’s words before his penalty, Alvarez told ESPN Argentina: ‘The goalkeepers always try to do their thing, it doesn’t bother me at all.

‘I try to be focused on my job. I had already decided which way I was going to shoot and well, it was a goal.’

Meanwhile, BBC presenter Gary Lineker described Kepa as a ‘pound shop Emi Martinez’ in reference to Argentina’s goalkeeper who played several mind games during the World Cup final shootout against France.

When watching the replay of Kepa’s exchange with Alvarez at half-time, Lineker said: “What about this… I think Alvarez is probably saying, ‘mate, I’ve just won a gold medal at the World Cup, I’m not worried about you’.’

Micah Richards, who was working as a pundit for the game, replied: ‘Not quite Emi Martinez, is he?’, Lineker then added: ‘Pound shop Emi Martinez.’

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