Sunday, May 26, 2024

Europa Conference League: Aston Villa stunned by Olympiacos

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 May 2024

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Aston Villa were stunned by Olympiacos as they suffered a 4-2 home defeat in the Europa Conference League.

On what the Villa faithful hoped would be a famous night at Villa Park, they instead saw their team dispatched by their Greek opponents in the first leg of their semi-final encounter.

Ayoub El Kaabi scored a hat-trick for the visitors, who were 2-0 up inside 30 minutes on Thursday.

Ollie Watkins and Moussa Diaby struck either side of the interval to restore parity, but El Kaabi sealed his hat-trick from the penalty spot before Santiago Hezze added further gloss with a sensational finish. To add to Villa’s misery, Douglas Luiz then missed a penalty late on.

In the other semi-final tie, Fiorentina took a 3-2 aggregate lead against Club Brugge.

M’Bala Nzola was Fiorentina’s hero in stoppage time, scoring in the 91st minute to nudge the Serie A team ahead.

Hans Vanaken had scored from a penalty following a VAR check for handball in the 17th minute, cancelling out Riccardo Sottil’s early opener, though Fiorentina restored their lead through Andrea Belotti before half-time in a frantic first half.

Thiago equalised for Brugge, but it was ultimately not enough.

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