Aston Villa eliminated from European competition as Unai Emery’s team defeated once more by Olympiakos – Mirror Online

Unai Emery’s dreams of ending Aston Villa’s trophy drought came to a tragic end after a 2-0 loss to Olympiakos. The Spaniard had aimed to add silverware to Villa Park but faced a tough task as his injury-hit side tried to overcome a two-goal deficit from the first leg in Birmingham, a feat achieved only three times in European history. Ayoub El Kaabi, who scored a hat-trick in the first leg, quickly struck an early goal for Olympiakos, further complicating Villa’s chances. Despite a spirited effort from Villa, the team was unable to overcome the deficit, marking 28 years since their last triumph in the League Cup.

Olympiakos, aiming to break a 53-year hoodoo for Greek clubs, looked to secure their first silverware since 1971 and add to the satisfaction of playing the final at the home of their rivals, AEK Athens. The approach from Olympiakos, led by Jose Luis Mendilibar, focused on defending their two-goal advantage and hitting Villa on the break, a tactic that worked well in both legs. Villa, known for playing a high line, struggled to contain Olympiakos’ attacks, as El Kaabi’s goals sealed their fate. Despite continued pressure from Villa, they failed to test the hosts’ goalkeeper, and hopes of a comeback dwindled as El Kaabi’s effort was eventually allowed after a VAR check.

In the final minutes, Emery brought on the club’s talented young players as acknowledgment that their chance for victory had ended.

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