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Aston Villa secure Champions League football but real challenge would be re-qualifying for Europe

Aston Villa have secured Champions League football for the first time after Tottenham Hotspur fell to a 2-0 loss against Manchester City on Tuesday

Spurs had a chance to overtake the Midlands side into fourth but the latest defeat means the North Londoners’ hopes of closing the five-point gap are over. 

Villa haven’t reached the prestigious tournament since it was rebranded from the European Cup to the Champions League in 1991-92. 

They last played in the European Cup in 1982-83 when they went out of the competition after losing in the quarter-finals to Juventus. 

The Lions had qualified as the holders after triumphing against Bayern Munich 1-0 in the 1982 final in Rotterdam. 

However, the real challenge for Emery and his team would be securing Champions League football again as they would be competing with seven big clubs for just four spots. 

Manchester City and Arsenal are on a different level and are expected to compete for the title again. 

Jurgen Klopp will not be at Liverpool next term but the quality of their squad suggests another title charge will not be very improbable. 

Meanwhile, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United haven’t had an impressive 2023-24 campaign and so they will all be desperate for a comeback. 

Unai Emery has completely transformed the fortunes of Villa since taking over as manager in November 2022. 

The club were battling relegation at the time of his appointment, but the Spaniard guided them to a seventh-place finish. 

Emery has bettered that in his second season as he secured them a fourth-place finish. 

However, his real challenge would be securing European football again by beating some of the biggest clubs. 

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