EPL: Aston Villa win Champions League qualification for first time

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Aston Villa have qualified for the Champions League for the first time after top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur lost to Manchester City on Tuesday.

Tottenham had been the only team who could have overtaken Villa into fourth before Tuesday, but are now five points behind Unai Emery’s side with one game remaining.

Villa have not reached Uefa’s premier club competition since it rebranded from the European Cup to the Champions League in 1991-92.

They last played in the European Cup 41 years ago in 1982-83 having won the competition the season before.

Villa did finish second and fourth in the Premier League in 1992-93 and 1995-96 respectively, but in both those seasons only first was good enough to reach the Champions League.

Celebrations at club awards night

Villa’s players and staff were holding their annual awards night at Villa Park on Tuesday night and celebrated as the result at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was confirmed.

The club posted photos on social media, external of Emery and the players cheering and spraying champagne.

“It’s a very special day,” Emery said. “It’s our dream, we started the season to be here. We’ve had injuries but the team was always focused. It’s fantastic. To play Champions League is the best.”

“Nobody expected us to be there but we believed in ourselves and believed in our dream,” wrote defender Lucas Digne on Instagram, external. “It was hard but the achievement is amazing.”

Centre-half Diego Carlos added, external: “After more than four decades we are back in the Champions League. We are experiencing a historic season! Up the Villa!”

Fans including the Prince of Wales, who was at Villa’s recent match against Olympiakos, also celebrated the news.

“We are Champions League!” he wrote on X, external. “A historic season and an amazing achievement. Thanks to Unai, the whole squad and everyone at Aston Villa. Can’t wait for next season.”

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