Aberdeen have missed out of the Europa League group stages after a 3-1 home defeat to BK Häcken in the second leg of their play-offs.
The Dons have to settle for a place in the Europa Conference League after two goals from Ibrahim Sadiq helped secure a 5-3 aggregate win for the Swedish league winners, who progress to the Europa League group-stage draw on Friday.
As in the first leg, Sadiq struck twice before half-time, opening the scoring on 14 minutes with a shot from 22 yards and then flicking the ball over Kelle Roos as he raced onto Mikkel Rygaard’s through ball just before the interval.
Bojan Miovski’s VAR-assisted penalty saw the hosts halve the deficit, but another spot-kick awarded by VAR at the other end saw Amor Layouni seal victory with nine minutes to play at Pittodrie.
Despite the defeat, the Aberdeen manager Barry Robson credited his players with “a brilliant performance. I was so pleased with them. I believe we should have gone through over the tie with the amount of chances we created against them.”
“Obviously they created chances too,” Robson added. “[But] they had one counter-attack and a wonder goal in the first half. We could sit here and talk about a multitude of chances [missed] and that was credit to the way the boys played. They were a real good watch.”
Aston Villa will join Aberdeen in the Conference League group stage draw after they swept Hibernian aside, winning 3-0 at Villa Park and 8-0 on aggregate.
Hibs, who sacked Lee Johnson after the 5-0 first-leg defeat was followed up by a home defeat to Livingston, quickly fell further behind in the second leg as Jhon Durán swept home from Pau Torres’ excellent pass. The teenage debutant Omari Kellyman then set up Leon Bailey to make it 6-0 on aggregate before the break.
Unai Emery sent on Matty Cash and captain John McGinn at half-time and right-back Cash, who scored twice at Burnley on Sunday, got the third on the rebound after David Marshall failed to hold on to Bailey’s fierce free-kick.
“We needed to be in the group stage and we have to be happy and enjoy it with our supporters,” said Emery after the match. “Today it was a full stadium and to finish and qualify was fantastic. I’m really happy because I really enjoy it in Europe, and I want to enjoy it now with Aston Villa.”
Hearts joined their Edinburgh rivals in making an early European exit, with technical director Steven Naismith admitting they were taught a “harsh lesson” in a 6-1 aggregate defeat to PAOK in the Conference League play-offs.
Naismith told Hearts TV: “When we give up goals that we have at this level … they are going to punish you, and that’s exactly what happened. We had to be perfect defensively and we weren’t anywhere near where we needed to be.”
The home side went ahead in the 16th minute as Brazilian winger Taison curled a low delivery from out wide that crept inside the far post. Spanish striker Brandon hooked the ball past Zander Clark to make it 2-0, and 4-1 on aggregate, at half-time.
PAOK got their third goal as Giannis Konstantelias finished at the second attempt after a long clearance from the goalkeeper went over the head of Kye Rowles. Stephen Kingsley then suffered an injury and there was further misery for the Jambos when PAOK broke clear for a fourth goal in the 71st minute.