Unai Emery makes telling Aston Villa Champions League request amid Tottenham fight

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has called on his team to secure a Champions League spot after their European campaign ended in defeat at Olympiacos.

Villa's aspirations for a first European final since 1982 were dashed on Thursday night following a 6-2 aggregate loss. Ayoub El Kaabi netted both goals in a 2-0 loss for the Villans, with eyes now turning to the Premier League and a battle against Tottenham to finish in the top four.

Spurs' form has dipped in recent weeks and the Lilywhites currently find themselves in fifth place, seven points behind Villa who occupy fourth, although Ange Postecoglou's side do have one game in hand. Villa can seal Champions League qualification at the weekend if they beat Liverpool on Monday or Spurs lose to Burnley on Saturday.

“It’s a process, we have got to the semi-final for the first time,” Emery, whose side have already guaranteed Europa League qualification next season, said. “We have to accept it’s not enough, but it is a process. The first objective at the beginning of the season was to try compete in Europe again, through the Premier League.

“We are going to play next year in the Europa League, we’re improving and we have the opportunity to get the fourth position, which is amazing motivation. We have to be disappointed a little bit, and frustrated a little bit and we have to be quick to react. We have to try to finish the season and for it to be very amazing [if they qualify for the Champions League].”

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Emery added: “They [Olympiacos] deserve to be in the final. We lost it in the first 90 minutes at home and we were not competitive. They deserved to win, the first leg we played in Birmingham we lost the first opportunity to be with more chance here in the second leg.

“I was comfortable in the first half, we created chances, we didn’t concede a lot of chances, even though they scored. They were clinical more than us, even though we had chances we didn’t score. Second half progressively we weren’t feeling less comfortable and the second goal more or less finished the match.”

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