Unai Emery guided Aston Villa to their first European campaign in 13 years, which saw his outfit crash out at the semi-final stage of the Europa Conference League at the hands of Olympiakos. Instead, the Greek giants will play in their first European final at the home of rivals AEK Athens on 29 May.

Following the defeat, Emery reflected: “We are proud of the way we did. “It wasn’t enough to get to a final, but getting to a final is very difficult. Hopefully, the experiences we’ve had this year in Europe can help us for the next years. “They can help us in the process we want to do here, always trying to improve and get better.”

“Congratulations to our supporters,” he said. “They were enjoying this way with us and we are disappointed but we want to tell them thank you because they were here with us, trying to come back the result.

“The first leg we lost a two-goal advantage and it was difficult here today. The first half was the key moment because we played controlling the game and having chances to score but we didn’t do it.

Indeed, despite the Villans dominating possession in the first half – enjoying 80% of the ball – they were ultimately toothless in front of goal, with their best chance coming just before the break, when Leon Bailey’s piledriver was tipped over the post.



The Spanish tactician went on to say, “They scored on one transition and we conceded. Overall, to win is very difficult. I think we have to be getting experiences in this competition and in Europe, playing in a semi-final and getting information and experiences for the next years and the process we’re in.”

“We’re fighting in the Premier League for an amazing, amazing objective we have. Firstly, we’re in the Europa League next year and we are improving this year. Secondly, we have the opportunity to get into the Champions League.’

The ex-Arsenal boss will now turn his attention to domestic action when his side welcomes Liverpool to Villa Park on Monday. The top four hopefuls require just three points from their final two Premier League games to ensure qualification for next season’s Champions League.