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Aston Villa qualified for the Champions League after Tottenham lost to Manchester City

Aston Villa qualified for next season’s Champions League after Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 defeat of Manchester City.

The result leaves Aston Villa five points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.

It means the club will play in the Champions League for the first time since the 1982–83 season. Villa secured their last qualification for the competition, then known as the European Cup, after winning the 1982 European Cup, beating Bayern Munich in the final.

Villa ensured Spurs would need to beat City on Tuesday to keep the race for the final Champions League spot alive ahead of the final game of the season after coming from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Liverpool on Monday in the evening.

Jhon Duran scored in the 85th and 88th minutes to preserve a point for Unai Emery’s side and leave Spurs needing maximum points against title-chasing City.

But two second-half goals from Erling Haaland sealed a 2-0 win for City to keep their title tilt on track and deny Spurs Champions League football.

Emery was appointed Villa head coach in October 2022, joining from Villarreal to replace Steven Gerrard.

Villa were 16th in the Premier League, two places and a point above the relegation zone when Emery took charge. Under the guidance of the Spanish coach, the club finished the season in seventh place and secured qualification for the Europa Conference League, ensuring they would play European football for the first time in 13 years.

In his first full season in charge, Emery guided Villa into the Champions League for the first time in 41 years.

He was rewarded with a contract extension in April to keep him at the club until 2027, with ambitious owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens holding him in high regard.

Emery previously enjoyed a strong record in Europe, winning the Europa League three times with Sevilla and once with Villarreal.

Villa’s season began with a 5-1 defeat to Newcastle United on the opening day of the campaign, where they also lost defender Tyrone Mings to a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, before to win five of their next six league games. move into European combat.

Victories over Arsenal and Manchester City in the space of four days in December highlighted their Champions League credentials and at the halfway point of the season, Villa were just three points off the Premier League summit.

Despite failing to keep up with the league leaders in the second half of the campaign and then losing 4-0 to European rivals Tottenham in March, Villa stayed in the Champions League places with another impressive win over Arsenal, while Spurs suffered costly defeats to Fulham. , Newcastle and Chelsea.

Striker Ollie Watkins led the goalscoring charts for Villa with 19 goals in 36 league appearances and, combined with his 13 assists, has the most goal contributions of any Premier League player this season.

Villa finish their season with Crystal Palace on Sunday.

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(Alex Pantling/Getty Images)