Jelavic's late strike evicts wasteful Villa

Aston Villa 2 Rapid Vienna 1 (Aggregate 2-2; Rapid win on away goals)

There will be no continental adventures or distractions for Aston Villa this season. After planting a foot in today's draw for the lucrative group stage of the Europa League through goals by James Milner and John Carew, they had it dramatically kicked from beneath them by Nikica Jelavic's late away goal for Rapid Vienna.

Milner converted the second of two first-half penalties awarded to Villa seven minutes after Ashley Young had failed from the first, while Carew finished with aplomb to put Martin O'Neill's side in apparent control of this qualifying-round tie. Jelavic, the Croat who scored Rapid's first-leg winner, had other ideas, burying the loose ball after Brad Guzan's foot kept out a shot by Makus Katzer.

Astonishingly, Villa might have had a third spot-kick in stoppage time, when former the Luton player Markus Heikkinen handled Nicky Shorey's cross, only for the Spanish referee to wave aside their appeals. Rapid, though, were scarcely undeserving victors, Jelavic having spurned an easier chance 60 seconds before scoring and Steffen Hofmann blazing over an open goal five minutes from time.

O'Neill, who had earlier signed the Blackburn utility player Stephen Warnock and remains hopeful of capturing Richard Dunne from Manchester City, struggled to put a brave face on the setback, even though it spares Villa a repeat of last season's draining 12-match Uefa Cup run. "We should have put the game out of sight and won the tie," the Villa manager said. "But overall I was delighted with the application of the side.

"It would have been a good experience for us, especially for our younger players. Last season we had some great European nights at Villa Park. It's disappointing we won't be having that again."

Peter Pacult, the Rapid coach, hailed the result on the night as "one of the nicest defeats we've ever had". He added: "Overall we deserved to go through. To beat a Premier League club is fantastic."

Fabian Delph, the baby of the home side at 19, often took responsibility for making their attacks less predictable, and his fine pass to Young led to the first Villa penalty. Having been fouled by Andreas Dober, Young stumbled but stayed on his feet. Running into the area, he was bundled over by Heikkinen. Young shot too close to the keeper and Helge Payer smothered the ball.

Six minutes later Young again surged into the area and once more Dober took him down. This time Milner thrashed the ball beyond Payer.

Hofmann looked set to restore their aggregate lead when Curtis Davies' header fell to him two minutes into the second half. The shot beat Guzan only for Carlos Cuellar to head off the line.

Villa soon doubled their tally on the night. Milner's pass released Carew on the right flank. Cutting in on to his left foot, he wrong-footed Ragnvald Soma before beating Payer on his near post.

The decisive moment came when Milner, presented with a tap-in after Payer parried Young's drive on the hour, missed. Jelavic was at first equally wasteful. Given a second chance, he sent Rapid's 3,000 raucous and mainly bare-chested followers wild with delight.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Guzan; Beye, Cuellar, Davies (Lowry, 83), Shorey; Milner, Delph (Albrighton, 86), Petrov, A Young; Carew, Heskey (Agbonlahor, 82). Substitutes not used: Friedel (gk), Sidwell, Reo-Coker, Gardner.

Rapid Vienna (4-4-1-1): Payer; Dober, Soma, Patocka, Katzer; Trimmel (Maierhofer, 56), Heikkenen, Pehlivan, Drazan; Hofmann; Jelavic (Boskovic, 87). Substitutes not used: Hedl (gk), Thonhofer, Kulovits, Eder, Konrad. Referee: C Velasco Carballo (Spain).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'