(Nick Potts/PA Wire)

Aston Villa take on Olympiacos in the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final on Thursday night, a return to the last four of a major European competition for the first time in over four decades for the Midlands club. That comes at the peak of a season of massive progress, with Unai Emery’s team also fighting for a top-four finish in the Premier League and a place in next term’s Champions League.

Ollie Watkins has been in form all season and has impressed both domestically and on the continental stage, and Villa should have real confidence of going the distance.


Opponents Olympiacos are fighting for the title in the Greek top flight once more this season, fourth place but only one point off second. Follow the action from the first leg below and see the Aston Villa vs Olympiacos predictions and latest odds here.


GOAL! 45’ – Aston Villa 1-2 Olympiacos

Brilliant move, excellent finish!

Watkins has been anonymous for so much of this first half but Cash and Diaby combine, Watkins makes the diagonal run and his first-time finish is absolutely inch-perfect, past the keeper and right into the far corner!

Back in the game and the tie – they still trail 2-1 but Villa have the goal before half-time they wanted.

Karl Matchett2 May 2024 20:48



44’ – Aston Villa 0-2 Olympiacos

Bailey bursts into the box, tricks his man, sprints past him and goes to ground under a challenge – referee immediately waves it away as the fans scream for a penalty!

Tell you what on the replay it looks a lot like Ortega has tripped him on the way past, one leg through Bailey’s, but play on is the word and nothing from the VAR for the ref to look again.

Fortunate, the defender. Into stoppage time we go and there will be three minutes.

Karl Matchett2 May 2024 20:46



42’ – Aston Villa 0-2 Olympiacos

Cash is spoken to by the ref for jumping straight through Podence to win a header. Villa losing all focus here at the moment and the fans fuming too at every decision going against them. Nothing that the ref has done wrong though – Olympiacos are simply gaming matters better than Villa are.

Bailey exemplifies that by trying to whack the ball against Podence and only managing to give away a corner.

Karl Matchett2 May 2024 20:43



38’ – Aston Villa 0-2 Olympiacos

Bit scruffy but McGinn works an angle from the free-kick and gets in a shot, which is blocked and deflected behind. The Scot then takes the corner but it’s poor and cleared by the first man.

Villa need him and a few others to step up here to get themselves back into the tie.

Luiz starts dropping deeper looking to do just that, getting himself on the ball and trying to start moves with a bit more pace and penetration. The fans respond and urge the team on with renewed vigour.

Karl Matchett2 May 2024 20:40



36’ – Aston Villa 0-2 Olympiacos

The home fans getting a little irate at visiting players going to ground and the stoppages in the game. Get used to it, is all we can really say – sides in Europe at this stage are going to do exactly that.

Watkins is fouled outside the box and it’s a great chance to deliver a dangerous ball into the box from the right flank.

Andrea Belotti has scored another for Fiorentina – they now lead 2-1.

Karl Matchett2 May 2024 20:38



32’ – Aston Villa 0-2 Olympiacos

Bailey beats his man and fires into the side-netting via a deflection. Cash went down in the box just beforehand but the ref signalled no foul and played on for the shot.

Unai Emery has just spent about three minutes ranting at Olsen and Douglas Luiz during an injury break in play.

Karl Matchett2 May 2024 20:36



GOAL! 28’ – Aston Villa 0-2 Olympiacos – LIVE

Another goal! What a brilliant move and a great finish. Podence lofts a fantastic pass over the defence, El Kaabi runs through past the static centre-backs, nods it past Olsen and tucks his first-time finish home under the ‘keeper’s dive and into the near post.

2-0 to Olympiacos and Emery and his team have a huge job on their hands now.

Karl Matchett2 May 2024 20:30



24’ – Aston Villa 0-1 Olympiacos – LIVE

Villa’s first game against Greek opponents tonight. So far, not so good – officiating decisions for two goalscoring chances have not fallen in their favour.

Olympiacos are far more aggressive in midfield so far in this half and that’s stopping Villa getting into the final third – and starting their own counter-attacks very quickly.

Karl Matchett2 May 2024 20:28



20’ – Aston Villa 0-1 Olympiacos – LIVE

Villa need a bit of a response here, they’ve struggled to get too many passes strung together and those early spaces the wide men were fashioning have definitely dried up. Unai Emery prowls the touchline looking a bit concerned.

Equaliser in the other semi-final – Fiorentina 1-1 Club Brugge now.

In the Europa League semis it’s Roma 0-0 Leverkusen and Marseille 1-1 Atalanta.

Karl Matchett2 May 2024 20:25



GOAL! 16’ – Aston Villa 0-1 Olympiacos – LIVE

Olympiacos’ turn to celebrate and then be bewildered. El Kaabi runs through and buries his shot past Olsen but the offside flag is straight up.

Of course it goes to VAR…and the referee is told a different outcome – looks like Cash just played him on and the Greeks are in front!

Karl Matchett2 May 2024 20:19


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