fbpx Skip to main content

Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz has vowed to stay on penalty-taking duties despite his costly miss in Thursday’s Europa League Conference semi-final first-leg defeat to Olympiacos.

Villa’s hopes of reaching a first European final since 1982 are hanging by a thread after a damaging 4-2 loss at Villa Park on Thursday night.

It should have been a one-goal deficit they have to overturn in Athens next week, but Luiz saw his late spot-kick hit the post.

The Brazil midfielder, who also gave away a penalty after raising his arm at a corner, has been reliable from the spot this season and will carry on stepping up if needed.

“Yes, of course. I am confident. I have scored, I think, six penalties,” said Luiz, who apologised to Villa fans after the game.

“This is the first I have missed but that is football.

“I need to train with penalties and change my hand and then try to make things positive.

“I was not very happy with my handball but I saw the picture and it was a clear penalty.

“Then I missed the penalty as well. I am not happy today but I need to get my head up and really focus in the Premier League too.”

Villa were uncharacteristically poor at the back but still created chances going forward, which gives Luiz hope they can turn the tie around next week.

“Of course, the game is not over. We can come back strong,” he added.

“I feel so sad because I think we played really well. We didn’t deserve to lose 4-2 but we have to try and change the result next week.

“I think we played so good. The truth, my opinion, is we played so good. But we conceded four goals so we need to go next week, keep a clean sheet and score two goals.”

While it was a bad night on the pitch for Villa, it was a good one off it as Tottenham’s defeat to Chelsea sent Unai Emery’s side another step closer to Champions League qualification.

Villa could seal their place in the top four on Sunday if they beat Brighton and Spurs lose at Liverpool.

“Today is good because Tottenham lost, so we are happy there,” Luiz said. “We need to train more.”