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Aston Villa boss rues missed chances

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill blamed a series of missed chances for his side's shock Europa League exit to Rapid Vienna.

Villa had been big favourites to reach the group stage of the competition despite losing 1-0 in Austria in last week's first leg, but slumped out of Europe just three days after beating Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield.

Villa actually surged into a 2-0 lead at Villa Park to lead 2-1 on aggregate but Ashley Young missed a penalty before Nikica Jelavic's late strike sent the Austrians through on the away goals rule.

O'Neill said:"We played well and got ourselves in a good position.

"We were never comfortable, of course, with the possibility of conceding, but we should have had that game out of sight before they scored.

"At 2-0 we had a number of chances to see off Rapid but it didn't materialise. Then you're open to the possibility of a goal at the other end and that's exactly what happened.

"We missed a penalty to begin with and then we scored one. The crowd were in great voice and we were looking good at that point. But they got the goal and it was a bitter blow.

"It's a strange feeling when you consider we won the game. We deserved to do that in my opinion and we played pretty well overall.

"I really enjoyed those Villa Park evenings in European competition between September and December last year. They were great and I was looking forward to having one or two more of those.

"We will have to go all guns blazing in the Premier League now and try and stay in the domestic cups. It's a disappointment because Villa fans would have wanted a few trips to Europe this year."

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Article title: Aston Villa boss rues missed chances

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