English Premiership

Villa Dunne in by own goal

2010-05-09 19:43
Richard Dunne (AFP)

Birmingham - Aston Villa's season ended on a flat note Sunday with a 1-0 defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park thanks to a Richard Dunne own goal.

The Republic of Ireland centre-half, one of Villa's best performers this season, headed the ball into his own net to hand Rovers a victory they barely deserved.

The Villains, who had harboured hopes of landing both domestic cups and earning a Champions League spot, ended the season six points off the top four and having lost the League Cup final and an FA Cup semi-final in their two Wembley appearances.

Despite the defeat, the Birmingham side ended up finishing sixth in the Premier League table thanks to seventh-placed Liverpool's goalless draw at Hull.

That at least meant Villa avoided going into the third qualifying round of the Europa League, which gets underway on July 29, and instead enter the play-off round, which begins on August 19.

Meanwhile Rovers, who had spent much of the season in the relegation battle, snatched a top half finish.

The Lancashire side ended up 10th in the table in manager Sam Allardyce's first full season in charge, an improvement on last season's 15th-place.

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