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Aston Villa secure Champions League football but real challenge would be requalifying for Europe

Aston Villa secured Champions League football after Tottenham Hotspur suffered a 2-0 loss against Manchester City on Tuesday

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

Villa have not qualified the prestigious tournament since it was rebranded from the European Cup to the Champions League in 1991-92. 

They last played in the competition in 1982-83 but lost against Juventus in the quarter-finals. 

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

However, Villa will find it difficult to qualify again as they will 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 they should be in the mix for a top-four finish.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United will also expect to challenge.

Unai Emery has completely transformed Villa’s fortunes since becoming 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 improved on that in his second season and will be looking forward to leading the club into the Champions League.

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