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Page last updated at 22:57 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 23:57 UK

O'Neill devastated by Euro exit

Martin O'Neill
O'Neill cut a figure of frustration on the Villa Park touchline

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill was left to rue his side's wastefulness in front of goal as Rapid Vienna denied them a place in the Europa League.

Villa won 2-1 in the second leg of the qualifier but went out on away goals after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate.

"We should have got through," said O'Neill. "We should have had the game out of sight before they scored.

"We had a number of chances to go from 2-0 to 3-0 and that would have sealed the tie. I'm desperately disappointed."

Ashley Young had a first-half penalty saved but James Milner converted another spot-kick soon after and John Carew made it 2-0 before Vienna's late strike.

Villa made it to the round of 32 last season but, despite strengthening their squad, will not even contest the group stage this time round.

"It would have been great experience again particularly for the younger players," said O'Neill.

We won the game but didn't win the tie and that's all that matters - a club like Aston villa needs European football but we weren't good enough

James Milner

"Last season, despite the way it ended for us in the Uefa Cup, I thought we had some splendid nights at Villa Park.

"I will miss those but we have to get on with it now and we will come again."

Villa had a golden opportunity to open the scoring when Young was felled by Markus Heikkinen inside the penalty area.

Goalkeeper Helge Payer saved the resultant spot-kick but was finally beaten by Milner after Young was again brought down, this time by Andreas Dober.

"They were both penalties and the one time the ref did pretty well in the game was to allow the play to continue for the first penalty after Young was fouled," said O'Neill.

"Ashley was disappointed to miss the penalty. He scored a great one against Liverpool and felt confident about taking it. James converted the second and then we went in front.

"We always felt we needed three goals in the game because there is the possibility of conceding. We had two good chances to seal the game.

"I thought the team played very well."

Milner was equally disappointed to see Villa go out but conceded they did not do enough to warrant a place in the group stage.

"We knew what the score was before and that we might have to score three," said the England midfielder. "We had chances to win the game so it was very disappointing.

"We want to win every competition we're in. We've put out strong teams, we've got a bigger squad and more quality to rotate this season.

"But tonight wasn't good enough and the away goal was a sucker punch - it killed us.


"We won the game but didn't win the tie and that's all that matters. A club like Aston Villa needs European football but we weren't good enough."

Vienna coach Peter Pacult was delighted with the result and paid special tribute to the club's vocal travelling support.

"This is the nicest defeat we have ever had," he said. "A lot of uncomplimentary things have been written about me back home in the past few months and I hope I have proved a point with this result.

"I am also so proud for our fans. They were magnificent and deserved the result."

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see also
Aston Villa 2-1 R Vienna (2-2)
27 Aug 09 |  Europe
Thursday's football as it happened
27 Aug 09 |  Football

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